A Foot to Stand On

What Are The Risk Factors For Plantar Fasciitis

by Grace Ortiz

Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which the connective tissue in the arch of the foot becomes irritated and inflamed. It causes symptoms like arch pain, feelings of tightness in the arch, and trouble bending the foot. But who is most likely to develop this condition? People with one or more of the following risk factors:

Exercises that put a lot of strain on the arch.

Any exercise that puts a lot of strain on the arch and heel of the foot is likely to increase your risk of plantar fasciitis, especially if you participate in that exercise regularly without a lot of rest days in between. Long-distance running and ballet are two major culprits. Running puts a strain on the plantar fascia with every stride, and ballet dancing has dancers up on their toes a lot, which also strains this connective tissue.

Being overweight.

The heavier you are, the more strain is put on your plantar fascia with every step. Being overweight is therefore a risk factor for plantar fasciitis. Obese and overweight individuals may develop this condition even if they are not very active. Losing weight is often a necessary step in the recovery process.

High or low arches.

If your arches are too high or too low, they won't absorb shock as well, resulting in additional strain on the plantar fascia. This is one of the most common issues that people with flat feet experience, which is one reason why flat-footed people were not allowed to join the military for a long time. You can reduce your risk of plantar fasciitis by wearing shoes that are suited to your arch type. If you have high arches, wear shoes with lots of arch support. If you have low arches, wear shoes with less padding in the arch.


The older you are, the greater your risk of plantar fasciitis. As you age, your connective tissue becomes more rigid, and this includes your plantar fascia. It will take less exercise to cause this issue when you are older versus when you are younger. That's not to say young people do not develop plantar fasciitis, however. 

If you are at risk for plantar fasciitis, keep an eye out for symptoms. If one or both of your arches start to feel stiff and painful, contact a podiatrist. Treatments like orthotics, massage, and cortisone injections can help you heal and be comfortable again. Talk to a clinic, like Advanced Foot Clinic, for any questions you may have about your issues.