Plantar fasciitis, also known as plantar fasciosis or jogger’s heel is a disorder that results in pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. The pain is usually most severe with the first steps of the day or following a period of rest. Pain is also frequently brought on by bending the foot and toes up towards the shin and may be worsened by a tight Achilles tendon. The condition typically comes on slowly. In about a third of people both legs are affected. Typically there are no fevers or night sweats.
The causes of plantar fasciitis are not entirely clear. Risk factors include overuse such as from long periods of standing, an increase in exercise, and obesity. It is also associated with inward rolling of the foot and a lifestyle that involves little exercise. While heel spurs are frequently found it is unclear if they have a role in causing the disease. Plantar fasciitis is a disorder of the insertion site of the ligament on the bone characterized by micro tears, breakdown of collagen, and scarring. As inflammation plays a lesser role many feel the condition should be renamed plantar fasciosis. The diagnosis is typically based on signs and symptoms with ultrasound sometimes used to help. Other conditions with similar symptoms include osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, heel pad syndrome, and reactive arthritis.
Most cases of plantar fasciitis resolve with time and conservative methods of treatment. Usually for the first few weeks people are advised to rest, change their activities, take pain medications, and stretch. If this is not sufficient physiotherapy, orthotics, splinting, or steroid injections may be options. If other measures do not work extracorporeal shockwave therapy or surgery may be tried.
Between 4% and 7% of people have heel pain at any given time and about 80% of these cases are due to plantar fasciitis. Approximately 10% of people have the disorder at some point during their life. It becomes more common with age. It is unclear if one sex is more affected than the other.