The plantar fascia is a very thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. This band of tissue is what creates the arch of the foot. When the fascia is overstretched or overused, it can become inflamed. When the fascia is inflamed, it can be painful and make walking more difficult.

Plantar fasciitis is more common in women, people who are overweight, people with occupations that require a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces, people with flat feet, and people with high arches. Walking or running, especially with tight calf muscles, may also cause the condition.

The most common symptom is pain in the bottom of the heel, which is usually worse in the morning and may improve throughout the day. By the end of the day the pain may be replaced by a dull ache that improves with rest.

Other symptoms include:

  • Mild swelling
  • Redness
  • Tenderness on the bottom of the heel