Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain)

This is the most common cause of heel pain. Plantar Fasciitis is caused by repeated strain on the plantar fascia, the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes, supporting the arch of the foot. A strained plantar fascia causes weakness, swelling, and inflammation in.

Because there are several potential causes, it is important to have heel pain properly diagnosed. Contact a doctor immediately to determine the underlying source of your heel pain.


The most common cause of this condition relates to the faulty structure of the foot.

You have a greater chance of developing plantar fasciitis if you:

  • Are middle-aged or older.
  • Walk with an inward twist or roll of the foot (pronation), have high arches or flat feet.
  • Are overweight or suddenly gain a lot of weight.
  • Have tight Achilles tendons (which attach the calf muscles to the heel bones) or tight calf muscles.

Some habits and activities may increase the stress on your feet, such as:

  • Wearing shoes with poor cushioning.
  • Walking or running without being conditioned for these activities.
  • Changing your walking or running surface (for example, from grass to concrete).
  • Having a job that involves prolonged standing on hard surfaces.
  • Becoming an athlete or a member of the military.


Contact a doctor if you notice:

  • Pain on the bottom of the heel
  • Pain in the arch of the foot
  • Pain that is usually worse upon arising
  • Pain that increases over a period of months
  • Swelling on the bottom of the heel


The pain may be worse when you get up in the morning or after sitting for long periods of time. After a few minutes of walking, the pain decreases because walking stretches the fascia. The pain might return after spending long periods of time on your feet.

Potential Treatments

To arrive at a diagnosis, your doctor may need your medical history. Throughout this process, your doctor will examine all possible causes for your heel pain.

In addition, diagnostic imaging studies, such as x-rays or other imaging modalities, may be used to establish an evaluation.

Surgery is usually not needed. About 95 out of 100 people who have plantar fasciitis are able to relieve heel pain without surgery. Your doctor may consider surgery if nonsurgical treatment has not helped and heel pain is restricting your daily activities.

Disclaimer: The Relief Institute has made reasonable efforts to present accurate information on this website; however, it is possible that information found on this website could potentially be out-of-date or limited in nature. Any medical and health-related information presented on this website is general in nature. The Relief Institute does not furnish or render professional health care services or medical care. Therefore, the information presented on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, nor is it intended to provide you with a specific diagnosis or treatment for a specific ailment. The information is made available to you for educational and informational purposes and does not constitute the practice of medicine and/or as a substitute for consultation with your personal health care provider. Click here to view our full disclaimer.