What you need to know about plantar fasciitis

Why your feet hurt, and what you can do about it

What does it mean when the heels and bottoms of your feet hurt?

Whether you spent the day running, lifting, on your feet, or seated at your desk, you may notice that your feet are strangely sore. There’s a pretty good chance that this is a sign of plantar fasciitis.

This condition is frustrating to deal with, but you don’t have to suffer from sore feet every day. Read below to learn more about plantar fasciitis, including how to treat it and how to prevent it moving forward.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that causes pain in the heel or surrounding areas in the feet. Those who experience it may find that they are left with a throbbing feeling in their feet – especially upon trying to walk. The pain may or may not decrease as you move, though it tends to return after either standing or sitting for a long time.

Plantar fasciitis is not a permanent condition, and you don’t necessarily need a diagnosis to find relief.

How it’s caused

This condition is found in the plantar fascia, a part of your foot shaped like a bowstring. This part’s job is to support your feet’s arches and absorb the shock that comes with walking – without it, your feet would be in severe pain upon every step you took.

When someone has plantar fasciitis, this part takes on too much tension and stress, and it becomes inflamed. Repeated tearing and stretching can make it worse.

Anyone can experience plantar fasciitis, but it’s worth noting that there are some risk factors. These include:

  • Age – patients between 40 and 60 years of age develop this condition the most frequently

  • Weight – patients who are overweight may have a higher chance of developing this condition

  • Footwear – shoes or other footwear with poor support can increase the risk of developing this condition

  • Physical activity – if you are on your feet all day or perform certain exercises a lot (such as running or dancing), your risk of developing this condition may increase

Prevention strategies

If you experience foot pain a lot or fear you will experience it, we have good news. There are plenty of effective steps you can take to avoid having to deal with plantar fasciitis, including the following:

  • On your feet a lot? Take breaks if possible. Interrupting time on your feet by sitting down allows your feet to heal, limiting the risk of overwhelming your plantar fascia.

  • Sitting down a lot? Try getting up to stretch or walk around every so often. This will make your feet more resilient when it comes time to walk.

  • Change your exercise routine. It’s possible that the exercises you perform are overwhelming your feet. Work with a professional to determine whether your routine could use a touch-up.

  • Lose weight. If you believe your weight is a contributing factor to foot pain, you may choose to speak to your doctor and come up with a weight loss plan that works for you.

How to treat plantar fasciitis

If your heels are sore, you can fight back against the pain with these solutions.

Proper footwear

Footwear that doesn’t offer proper arch support can quickly lead to plantar fasciitis by forcing the bottom of your feet to deal with more pressure than they should have to. We recommend either finding new footwear or getting in-sole support products to correct your foot position.

Exercises and stretching

A physiotherapist or similar professional can help you achieve comfort by showing you which movement and stretches will relieve your foot pain. These stretches can be performed at any time – meaning you can heal anytime, anywhere!


If you’re not familiar with orthotics, they’re a type of insole that is made by specialists to support the arches of your feet. These custom support products can be placed inside your footwear to give you the elevation you need.

At Elysian Wellness Centre, we can get you the orthotics you need for support and comfort. Ask us to get started today.

Posture correction

If you find yourself seated for most of the day for work or other reasons, it’s possible that your posture is a contributing factor. Keep your feet flat on the ground as much as possible without too much force.


If you’re on your feet a lot or perform a lot of physical activity, it’s a must that you get rest. Those participating in fitness regimes should take rest days, and everyone should aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night.

Why you should talk to a professional

A physiotherapist can help you determine the cause of your foot problems, and help you get closer to finding short-term and long-term solutions. Plus, going longer without treatment could lead to worse problems.

READ MORE: Working from home? here’s how to stay comfortable without compromising your back’s health


Foot pain doesn’t have to hold you back from doing what you love. Contact us today to learn how our team of physiotherapists and specialists can support you.

Johanne Gordon - Registered Physiotherapist

Johanne is an experienced, fluently bilingual physiotherapist who graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in physiotherapy with magna cum laude honours from the University of Ottawa.

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