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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Conrad

Pain in the Arch of Your Foot

More than 1 million people visit the doctor each year with plantar fasciitis. That's the extremely uncomfortable pain near the arch of your foot.

The plantar fascia is a thick, fibrous band of tissue that runs from the calcaneus (heel) and fans out to insert on the metatarsal heads (start of the toes/ball of foot) to support the arch of the foot. An inflamed and irritated plantar fascia can be very painful. Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain, and most people report pain in the heel region, particularly after getting out of bed in the morning or after sitting for extended periods.


Lack of ankle dorsiflexion has been associated with plantar fasciitis, as has a pronated (flattening the arch) foot type. Increased body mass index in a nonathletic population has also been indicated as a predisposing factor. However, there is not strong evidence to associate foot type or first metatarsophalangeal joint motion with plantar fasciitis. Excessive training (especially running/walking), prolonged standing, tight calf muscles, or a tight Achilles tendon may lead to plantar fasciitis.


Plantar fasciitis normally goes away on its own after a few months. Stretching of the calf or plantar fascia appears to provide short-term pain relief and improvements in dorsiflexion range of motion. Use a tennis ball or lacrosse ball and roll it on the sole of your foot. Resting or taking an anti-inflammatory (Advil) can help reduce swelling and make you more comfortable. If pain is severe you may need to consult your doctor about getting a steroid shot. A physical therapist might be the next best option if things still do not improve. It will become necessary to strengthen the plantar fascia and lower leg muscles. A physical therapist may apply kinesiology tape that can help support your foot's arch.


Toe towel grab: place a towel under your toes and crunch your toes to try and move the towel towards your heel.


To prevent plantar fasciitis, keep a healthy body weight, regularly stretch your plantar fascia, wear supportive footwear, switch to low impact exercises.

Have you experienced plantar fasciitis?

Sources: NASM CES

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