Plantar fasciitis is a painful and uncomfortable condition that affects the heel. It is caused by damage to the plantar fascia, which is a web-like, thin ligament connecting the front of your foot and your heel. This ligament is responsible for helping you walk and supporting the arch of your foot.

The condition is one of the most common reasons why people would visit an orthopedic specialist. This is because the ligament continuously goes through wear and tear when you use your foot, which is all the time. The ligament is also a shock absorber, as it supports the foot's arch. If there is too much pressure on it, then the ligaments can become damaged or even torn. At that point, inflammation occurs in the plantar fascia, and this is what causes the stiffness and pain. In this article, we will take a look at 7 warning signs and symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

The 7 Warning Signs and Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis:

1. Pain

2. Stiffness

3. Gradual development of pain

4. Dull to sharp pain

5. Burning ache

6. Worst pain felt when waking up on the morning, and getting worse after periods of rest

7. Difficulties climbing stairs due to the stiffness of the heel

People experience plantar fasciitis in different ways, with some people being completely incapacitated by it, and others only experiencing mild pain. However, in most cases, the pain and discomfort will worsen over time. For many people, the confusion lies in the fact that the pain is worse after rest, which means they often want to move their foot in order to relieve the stiffness. Unfortunately, this is not effective, as prolonged activity can cause the inflammation to become worse, making the pain flare up again. Yet, that pain is not felt until after the activity itself.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis:

Besides being aware of the 7 warning signs and symptoms of plantar fasciitis, you should also understand the condition. This will ensure you can stop activities sooner, avoiding the condition from getting worse. Plantar fasciitis is particularly common in people who are overweight or obese. This is because the plantar fascia is not able to carry that weight. If weight gain is quite sudden, such as during pregnancy, it is even more common for people to develop the condition.

Plantar fasciitis can also occur in long distance runners, or those who work on their feet. These include nurses, restaurant staff, and factory workers. Most people who develop the condition are aged between 40 and 70, and just over half are women.

Furthermore, people who have very flat feet or very high arches are more at risk of developing the condition, including those with a tight Achilles tendon. Lastly, those with shoes with poor arch support or soft soles are more likely to develop the condition. Heel spurs are generally not related to plantar fasciitis, however, so if you experience similar pain and know you have heel spurs, it may be time to visit an orthopedic specialist.