Plantar Fascia refers to the band of ligaments that connect the heel bone (calcaneus) to the toes. It is the largest ligament in the foot and spreads out in the shape of a web. It absorbs external shocks and also lends support to the foot arch. This ligament undergoes a lot of stress in the day to day life while walking and due to excessive body weight, leading to Plantar Fasciitis. The condition may result in inflammation and micro-tearing of the ligament. It may affect one or both feet and is more commonly observed in women.


  • Being overweight may stress the ligament
  • Increase in weight during latter stages of pregnancy
  • Running long distances
  • Occupations that require standing for long hours
  • Structural problems in foot structure, i.e. Flat Feet or high arches
  • Tightness of the Achilles Tendon may pull the Plantar Fascia
  • Wearing shoes that do not offer cushioning for the soles
  • Injury caused by jumping or landing on hard surface
  • Reactive Arthritis Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Tightening of ligaments with age


  • Pain at the base of the foot which may vary from a dull ache to a burning pain
  • Stiffness
  • Pain may increase after long periods of rest or physical activity
  • Redness and swelling
  • Change in gait
  • The foot may feel warm and tender
  • Walking barefoot may be painful


  • The orthopedic doctor may perform detailed physical examination of the foot
  • Symptoms may be analyzed by moving the foot or palpation
  • Evaluation of the muscle strength and nerve coordination
  • X-ray imaging to check for fractures and rule out structural problems
  • MRI and CT scan may be done to analyze soft tissue damage


  • Reduce the amount of physical activity and take rest
  • Apply ice packs for 15-20 minutes to reduce pain and swelling
  • Use foot supports and arches in the shoes
  • Pain killers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines are prescribed
  • Injecting corticosteroids into the foot for immediate relief
  • Physical therapy is required especially in case the Achilles Tendon is causing the problem
  • Surgical detachment of the plantar fascia ligament
  • Special splints that stretch the foot to lengthen the Achilles Tendon and the ligaments can be worn overnight for a specified period of time
  • Removable boot to immobilize the foot and reduce stress on it