The plantar fascia is a strong, tough band of tissue on the sole of the foot that begins at the ball of the foot and attaches to the bottom of the heel.
Plantar fasciitis is often the result of overuse, either from running too long without rest or jumping on the heel too much. Strains sometimes occur in the midportion of the arch, but are more often seen at the attachment to the heel. Occasionally, the plantar fascia is torn, either partly or completely, during physical activity.
Localized tenderness on the bottom of the heel and a specific type of pain that usually occurs in the morning can be an indication of plantar fasciitis.
Treatment of plantar fasciitis can be somewhat controversial. Healing can be slow and frustrating. The athlete should return to sports only when pain free. The timeframe can be a few weeks or up to an entire year. If surgery is required, athletes can expect several months of downtime before returning to competition.