What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the medical term given to a painful condition affecting the plantar fascia on the underside of the foot.

It is also commonly known by other names such as Policeman’s foot, Policeman’s heel, dogs’s heel or flip flop disease.

Plantar fascia Anatomy by Kosi Gramatikoff

The Plantar fascia is a very thick band of connective tissue that stretches from your heel (Calcaneus) to your (metatarsals) middle foot bones, providing support for the arch of the foot and helping dynamic function or “Windlass mechanism” during walking, (gait).

Once considered to be caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, recent studies have shown no inflammatory cells within the fascia and it is now thought to be caused by degeneration of collagen fibres close to the attachment to the heel bone.

(Similar research has also led to the same hypothesis about tennis and golfer’s elbow).

Heel spurs can be present in some cases but they are not the cause of plantar fasciitis.

More in depth reading:

Plantar Fasciitis
A Degenerative Process (Fasciosis) Without Inflammation
Harvey Lemont, DPM*, Krista M. Ammirati, BS* and Nsima Usen, MPH*
Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association
Volume 93 Number 3 234-237 2003

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