Plantar fasciitis

Synonyms: Heel spurs

Medical Specialties: Orthopedics, Physical medicine & rehab

Clinical Definition

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot injury especially among athletic people. It occurs when the strong band of tissue known as the plantar fascia, which supports the foot's arch, becomes irritated, inflamed and painful. The plantar fascia is a ligament that lies directly beneath the skin on the bottom of your foot; it connects the heel to the forefoot and supports the arch.  

In Our Own Words

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot pain in adults, and is often experienced by athletes, especially runners. It occurs when the ligament (plantar fascia) that supports the arch tears partially or completely. The ligament is a kind of rubber band that supports the bottom of the foot. When athletes jump or do repeated pushing-off motions, as in running, this dense tissue can become irritated, inflamed and sometimes damaged.

Relevant Conditions
  • Overuse exercise training
Side Effects
  • Pain near the heel or bottom of the foot
  • Pain after high-impact activity or exercise
  • Pain as you get up in the morning
Share this article
  • The Cleveland Clinic. "Heel Injuries." Diseases & Conditions 2013. Accessed Aug. 2013.
  • American Physical Therapy Association. “Heel Pain-Plantar Fasciitis.” Clinical Practice Guidelines. Accessed Aug. 2013
  • American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. "Plantar Fasciitis and Bone Spurs." June 2010. Accessed Aug. 2013.
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