5 Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis

5 Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis

Your feet deserve a big round of applause for balancing many jobs every day. They support your body’s weight and allow you to do necessary things like walk and climb stairs, and the fun stuff, including playing sports and dancing. 

Your feet are also amazingly complex. Just one of them is equipped with 26 bones, 33 joints, and 100-plus ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

But sometimes things go wrong with your feet.  

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that plagues 2 million people annually. Typically, you experience heel pain due to inflammation and tearing in the shock-absorbing ligament that runs the length of your foot and attaches your heel bone to your toes. This sturdy tissue band is called the plantar fascia. 

Fortunately, at Empire Physical Therapy & Athletic Rehabilitation, our physical therapists, Paul LaRose, MA, PT, and Billy Reilly, MA, PT, are prepared to provide relief for plantar fasciitis — and a wide range of conditions — with innovative, advanced treatments.

The facts about plantar fasciitis

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include swelling, aching, and pain that can be severe, burning, and sharp, as well as Achilles tendon tightness. Pain is often concentrated near your heel, but can also affect your arch, and can radiate into your ankle if a nerve becomes irritated.

Plantar fasciitis pain is most common when you rise in the morning and can disappear for a time, only to return if you sit or stand for a lengthy period.

Exercise can exacerbate the pain. Plantar fasciitis-related pain can cause a snowball effect that leads to a change in the way you walk, thereby affecting your hips, back, knees, ankles, and your other foot.

The pain can become debilitating, so seek professional treatment as soon as possible. 

Who’s at risk for plantar fasciitis?

Certain factors and conditions put you at higher risk for plantar fasciitis. 


The more trips around the sun you take, the higher your chances are of having plantar fasciitis. As you get older, your feet take more use and abuse with each additional decade of movement. 

Extra pounds

If you struggle with your weight, the extra pounds put a strain on your plantar fascia. The added pressure on your heel inflames it more, intensifying pain. 

Foot factors

Physiological factors such as flat feet or high arches make you more prone to plantar fasciitis. Incorrect form when you exercise, or simply engaging in certain activities that cause plantar fascia tears or worsen swelling — like running  — also up your chances of suffering from it. 

We offer a test called a Functional Movement Screen that helps us determine movement patterns that may be contributing to your plantar fasciitis.

Type of work

Your line of work can make you more likely to suffer with plantar fasciitis. Jobs that require long periods of standing and walking — like teaching, nursing, and trades work — are prime examples. 


People who live with diabetes are at higher risk for developing plantar fasciitis. Though the exact reason is not yet known, it’s another example of how foot problems plague diabetics.

The chances of plantar fasciitis going away on its own are low. We’re ready to customize your treatment so your needs and goals are met specifically. 

Advanced treatments for plantar fasciitis

When you visit our practice, we learn all we can about how your plantar fasciitis developed, what your personal medical history is, and the progression of your symptoms. We also do a thorough assessment of your condition. 

As we formulate your individualized treatment plan, we aim to:

The education we provide and treatments we recommend are typically a mixture of in-office and at-home options. We may recommend a combination of hands-on physical therapy, heat therapy, and stretching therapy. Orthopedic aids like shoe inserts can also help relieve symptoms. 

Additionally, we might prescribe state-of-the-art electrophysiology treatments, which employ electricity as a healing tool.  

We encourage you to contact our New York office in Manhattan’s Midtown East section to make an appointment to discuss plantar fasciitis and get you on a treatment plan.

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