Plantar Fasciitis: Foot And Heel Pain

Do you get a sharp pain in your heel, arch and foot when you get out of bed? This can be caused by problems with your plantar fascia. That’s the tight band of connective tissue that runs forward from the heel of your foot and fans out into five bands to the base of your toes. The sharp pain tends to ease with movement but can return after exercise as the day goes on. You may find it difficult to lift your toes off the floor and notice swelling beneath the foot.


The plantar fascia works to lift your heel off the ground. To do this, the strong ligament-like tissues tighten at the base of the toes as you walk. If an injury or strain occurs here and doesn’t get treated, the problem can become chronic, causing calcification within the plantar fascia and resulting in recurring pain. And of course discomfort in your feet affects everything about the way you walk and stand, and therefore the health of your hips, back, neck.

What causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fascia injury is often a result of ‘too much, too soon’ in your fitness regime. You might already be moderately active but have increased your daily exercise regime, or launched from inactivity into a new Couch-To-5k programme, or simply been walking more vigorously for longer.

Make sure you have properly fitting and well-cushioned shoes designed for the activity you’re undertaking.
Don’t run on hard surfaces without the right footwear.
Ease yourself into hill running or walking – it strains the calves, ankles and feet in new ways.

Your ankle and foot biomechanics can be part of the problem.

  • High arches can cause excessive supination, which is when your ankle rolls outwards to compensate for the high arch – this puts a strain on the plantar fascia.
  • Flat feet cause the opposite problem, overpronation, when the foot rolls inwards, again causing a strain on the plantar fascia.
  • Tight calf muscles can increase stress on the achilles tendon, which in turn can strain the heel and plantar fascia. Having a limited ability to flex your foot upwards (dorsiflexion) is considered a factor in developing plantar fasciitis.

Other factors can put you at risk from plantar fascia strain.

  • Being overweight or sudden weight gain
  • Being pregnant
  • Being middle aged or over
  • Having leg length differences
  • Previous ankle injuries

A consultation with our Sundial physiotherapists will help to diagnose exactly what’s happening to cause the pain. We can tape injuries, incorporate soft tissue work, acupuncture or laser therapy into your recovery progress, as well as devise personal exercise plans to help with these issues.

Watch our video for useful advice on home treatment.
How to cure heel pain

Put the spring back in your step – book in for an appointment here!