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Heel/Foot pain

Plantar fasciitis (pronounced PLAN-tar fashee-EYE-tiss) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Most often seen in athletes and persons whose jobs require a considerable amount of walking or standing (especially on hard surfaces), the condition results from inflammation of the plantar fascia, a broad, ligament-like structure that extends from the calcaneus to the base of the toes. Inadequate flexibility in the calf muscles, lack of arch supports, weak shoes, or repetitive stress can cause small tears in the fascia, leading to sometimes severe pain that can take several months to resolve.

The plantar fascia encapsulates muscles in the bottom of the foot, but it also supports the arch of the foot by acting as a bowstring that connects the ball of the foot to the heel. It endures tension that is approximately 2 times body weight during walking at the moment when the heel of the trailing leg begins to lift off the ground. This moment of maximum tension is increased and "sharpened" (it increases suddenly) if there is lack of flexibility in the calf muscles.

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