Inflammation of the plantar fascia is called plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is thick tissue on the bottom of the foot connecting the toes to the heel bone, and forming the arch.
When the plantar fascia is overused or stretched too far, walking can become difficult and pain can be the result. Plantar fasciitis is a common source of heel pain.
Long-distance runners, ballet dancers and those who participate in dance aerobics are at higher than normal risk for plantar fasciitis. This is due to the ongoing, intensive stress of activity, burdening the heel and surrounding tissue.
People who are on their feet, on hard flooring, during their work day also have a higher risk for plantar fasciitis. This includes teachers, store clerks and factory workers.
People between 40 and 60 years of age are at highest risk for developing plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is more likely to affect flat feet.