What is Plantar Fasciitis? Causes & Treatments – Feetures

What is Plantar Fasciitis? Causes & Treatments

What is Plantar Fasciitis? Causes & Treatments

Do you experience stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot when you first get out of bed or after long periods of standing or sitting? You might have plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis pain can be debilitating, often limiting an individual’s ability to move around easily and do the activities they love. From getting ready in the morning to walking throughout the day to training or racing, everything becomes more difficult. What is plantar fasciitis, exactly? Keep reading to learn what causes plantar fasciitis and what you can do about it.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is the taut tissue that makes up the arch of the foot and attaches the heel to the base of the toes. This soft tissue works like a rubber band flexing back and forth as the foot maneuvers through the gait cycle. Now, "itis" stands for inflammation, so the terminology “plantar fasciitis” implies there is inflammation in the plantar fascia. The more the tissue is damaged, the more inflammation you will experience–a direct result of small tears in the tissue.


A burning or pulling sensation underfoot (think hot coals or shooting pain) is a key warning sign of plantar fasciitis. Because the plantar fascia moves with every step, this issue can take a long time to heal. Damage to soft tissue that is constantly on the move can be tricky to deal with. Think about a tear in a rubber band... Put glue on that band... Now, before the glue dries, stretch the band back out. The glue will not hold, and the tear is still present....and so is the pain.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis: Debunking Myths & Misconceptions

Plantar fasciitis pain in your feet and ankles can seriously limit your quality of life, making it challenging to accomplish even the most mundane tasks or those that bring you joy. Therefore, understanding what causes plantar fasciitis is essential. 


When the tightrope of the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, the connective muscle, known as the flexor digitorum brevis (FDB), tends to overcompensate—often resulting in additional pain or possible tears. Many things can cause your plantar fascia to become inflamed, including age, certain types of exercises, foot mechanics, obesity, and occupations that require you to stand for long hours daily. 


Here are a few other myths about what causes plantar fasciitis and the truth about the condition.

Myth: Plantar Fasciitis is Caused by Flat Feet

Truth: Over 25% of the population has flat feet. However, this is not a cause of plantar fasciitis. Having flat feet may increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis, but it’s not the underlying reason. Improper arch support, working a job that requires you to be on your feet, overexercising, and even changes in your diet can all contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis, whether you have flat feet or not.

Myth: Plantar Fasciitis is Caused by Heel Spurs

Truth: While many people with plantar fasciitis do have heel spurs, they’re not what causes plantar fasciitis. In fact, these are actually two very different conditions with distinctly different treatments.


A heel spur is a bony outgrowth under the surface of the heel bone. In most cases, heel spurs don’t cause any pain or have adverse effects on a person’s quality of life. The plantar fascia is a deep connective tissue that spans from the bottom of the heel bone, which is another reason for this misconception. Even though heel spurs and plantar fasciitis occur in the same general area, there is no direct link between the presence of the two.

Myth: Plantar Fasciitis is Permanent

Truth: Even though the road to recovery from plantar fasciitis can seem long, slow, and maybe even never-ending, it’s not a permanent condition. Like most medical conditions, there’s no one-cure-fits-all plantar fasciitis treatment but a variety of options to manage the pain and expedite recovery. If you believe you have plantar fasciitis, your doctor should thoroughly assess your condition and construct a tailored management and recovery plan to get you back on your feet.

Myth: Fixing Plantar Fasciitis Requires Big Surgery

Truth: Plantar fasciitis doesn’t always require surgery, and in most cases, it’s completely unnecessary. People can often receive plantar fasciitis treatment that requires less invasive, more conservative methods. A doctor can assess your condition and suggest the best treatment plan that helps relieve the pain and ultimately heals the injury. If surgery is required, it luckily no longer requires a large incision. Plantar fasciitis surgery is much less invasive now, only requiring two keyhole-size incisions, minimizing scarring and allowing for a quicker recovery.

Myth: Minimalist Style Running Will Prevent, or Cure, Plantar Fasciitis

Truth: When minimalist – or barefoot – running was a trend, there were claims that it was a cure for plantar fasciitis. The theory was that minimalist running would strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the feet. However, this claim is purely a myth. There is no scientific evidence that supports this. In fact, no specific running style has been proven to prevent or cure plantar fasciitis.

Myth: Only Athletes Get Plantar Fasciitis

Truth: Plantar fasciitis affects many facets of the population, and athletic stress isn’t the only cause. Many people who aren’t athletes can be affected by plantar fasciitis. Poor foot mechanics, improper footwear, overuse, obesity, and poor environmental conditions can all be contributing factors causing plantar fasciitis, regardless of whether or not you’re an athlete.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Options to Relieve Pain

Here are a few ways to train and strengthen the flexor digitorum brevis (FDB) to avoid trouble with plantar fasciitis and tips to relieve pain.

1. Stretch

You’ve heard it before, but every stretch from your core to the tips of your toes is key. Stretch your toes by standing and pushing them up against a wall with heels flat (and wiggling). Hold for anywhere between 10 and 30 seconds.

2. Golf or Tennis Ball Massage

While watching your favorite season of Yellowstone, you can “roll out” your plantar fasciitis injury. Imagine your foot as your hand and the ball as a game of Centipede. Apologies to anyone under the age of 35 reading this.

3. Foam Rolling

Foam rolling is not just for the IT band anymore. Everything is connected, and tightness in the hips, shoulders, arms, and legs can invite plantar fasciitis to the party.

4. Decrease Mileage and Intensity & Change Surfaces

Plantar fasciitis can be brought on by a sudden increase in mileage, increased intensity, or a switch of terrain (from flat to hills) during workouts. Not surprisingly, the best way to undo the damage underfoot is to roll back mileage, take the intensity down a notch, or run on soft, even surfaces. The old doctor joke punchline, “Don’t go like that,” applies to plantar fasciitis sufferers.

5. Adjust Your Stride

Runners should also pay attention to how they strike. Heel striking and a shortened stride length are recommended while the plantar fascia is getting healthy.

6. Wear Plantar Fasciitis Socks

Socks for plantar fasciitis help reduce pain and inflammation and enhance recovery by applying support along key pressure points on the ankle, arch, and heel. These pain relief socks provide moderate, even compression across the entire foot. 


Compression socks for plantar fasciitis also increase circulation and bring vital nutrients to the inflamed tissues for improved healing, reducing discomfort due to everyday activities like standing and walking. Additionally, these recovery socks protect against further injury in those prone to developing the condition by cushioning against impacts and stabilizing feet during movement. 

Get the Best Plantar Fasciitis Socks for Relief and Recovery

At Feetures, our socks for plantar fasciitis are engineered with intense compression in specific areas of the foot to relieve pain, provide comfort, and speed up recovery. Targeted compression lifts, stretches, and stabilizes the plantar fascia and supports the Achilles tendon, providing convenient relief in the heel and arch. Plus, with The Perfect Toe®, you don’t have to worry about an irritating toe seam getting in the way of your recovery. If you’re looking for compression socks for plantar fasciitis to relieve pain today, shop our men's plantar fasciitis socks and women's plantar fasciitis socks now!



Written by

Weston Drum

  • Cecilia Stringer

    I suffer with foot pain all the time I put ice on it to reduce the pain.

  • Christine Allen

    I have very painful feet and especially my toes, I have neuropathy and planters fascists. Was taking medication side affects were really bad. What can I do, need help.

  • Pat Nichols

    I need a pair of these!!!

  • CompressionGear

    I found this blog is very informative.

  • Teresa Johnson

    Over time my heel, but I got serious pain in the ankles now, which is the main issue. I used to be stand, walk, run the ankles hurt often now I am suffering the consequences. Any suggestions?

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