5 Risk Factors That Are Linked to Plantar Fasciitis

5 Risk Factors That Are Linked to Plantar Fasciitis

The symptoms of plantar fasciitis — a painful foot condition — are unmistakable. If the arch of your foot is killing you or you have unbelievably sharp pain in your heel, it may be plantar fasciitis, which affects some 10% of the population at some point. 

Our dedicated team of physical therapists, Paul LaRosa, MS, PT, and Billy Reilly, MS, PT, has expertise in helping patients living with the pain and limited mobility that plantar fasciitis causes. Plantar fasciitis can rob you of your well-being in many ways, so seek treatment.

The lowdown on plantar fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a tendon that runs the length of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. It acts as a shock absorber for your foot, supports your arch, and helps make your foot flexible. 

The pain and inflammation that plantar fasciitis is known for develops when your tendon becomes stressed or overstretched.

The pain is often worse when you get up in the morning. It can dissipate, but return if you stand or sit for any period of time, and definitely if you exercise. Unfortunately, plantar fasciitis pain can affect the way you move, so you can even feel its effects on your other foot, ankles, hips, knees, and back. 

What are plantar fasciitis risk factors?

With plantar fasciitis, there are modifiable and nonmodifiable risk factors, meaning you can change some factors, but you can’t change others, like your age, gender, or family history. Here are some of the risk factors.

Your foot physiology

If you live with a foot condition like high arches or flat feet, there’s a higher likelihood that you’ll be affected by plantar fasciitis. The same holds true if you have flexibility issues with your Achilles tendon or calf muscles. 

Your age

The passage of time is inevitable. Living longer is a gift, but your feet can suffer. They take you where you need to go, but getting older raises your risk for plantar fasciitis.

Living with extra pounds

It’s not an exaggeration to say that being overweight or obese is an epidemic in our country. In fact, over two thirds of Americans live with obesity or are overweight. This strains your body, especially your feet, and contributes to the development of plantar fasciitis. 

Shedding pounds can go a long way in lowering your risk for the condition. 


Type 2 diabetes is a massive problem in the United States. Even though we’re not certain yet about why people living with diabetes experience more plantar fasciitis, it’s in line with the fact that a range of foot problems occur much more frequently in those with diabetes. 


Technically, this is a modifiable factor, though we know that most people can’t switch careers at the drop of a hat to ward off plantar fasciitis. We do know that people whose jobs require more physical labor (e.g., those who aren’t working office jobs) and who stand or walk for most of the day are more prone to having plantar fasciitis. 

Nurses, trades people, waiters and waitresses, and teachers all have a higher chance of suffering from plantar fasciitis, since they’re on their feet so much. 

No matter what plantar fasciitis risk factors you live with, our Empire team is focused on restoring your comfort and mobility.

Plantar fasciitis treatment options available to you

Once we fully understand the symptoms you’ve been suffering and your medical history, we create a personalized treatment plan with the aim of eradicating your pain and any limitations you may be experiencing with movement. 

We provide hands-on physical therapy to deliver relief, and we may also recommend stretch therapy, heat therapy, and home care practices you can adopt, including wearing shoe inserts, which has proven helpful for symptoms.

We also offer innovative electrophysiology treatments and a Functional Movement Screen™ test, which enables us to examine how you move and whether your movement patterns are contributing to your plantar fasciitis. 

Our physical therapists find nothing more satisfying than creating solutions to relieve many painful conditions, and plantar fasciitis is a condition for which people frequently seek treatment.

Don’t live another day with problematic foot pain from plantar fasciitis. Get treatment and return to your normal, active life by visiting us at Empire Physical Therapy and Athletic Rehabilitation in Manhattan’s Midtown East section in New York City.

Call our office at 607-602-1330 to schedule an appointment and get started healing, or contact us online. We look forward to caring for you.

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