Certain sports. Activities that place a lot of stress on the heel bone and attached tissue, i.e. running, dance and aerobics.
Flat-footed or high arches. People with flat feet may have reduced shock absorption, increasing strain on the plantar fascia. High arched feet have tighter plantar tissue, leading to similar effects.
Middle-aged or older. Heel pain tends to be more common with ageing as muscles supporting the arch of the foot become weaker, putting stress on the plantar fascia.
Overweight. Weight places a greater mechanical load on the plantar fascia. There is evidence that overweight and inactivity lead to chemical damage to the plantar fascia, with a worsening of pain.
Pregnancy. Weight gain, swelling and hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy may lead to mechanical overload of the plantar fascia.
Being on your feet. People with occupations that require a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces may suffer plantar fascia pain.
Wearing shoes with poor arch support or stiff soles. Poorly designed shoes may contribute to problems.
Maintaining a healthy weight to minimise the stress on the plantar fascia.
Choosing supportive shoes. Avoiding stiletto heels and shoes with excessively low heels. Buying shoes with a low to moderate heel, good arch support and absorption. Not going barefoot, especially on hard surfaces.
Not wearing worn-out runners. Replacing old runners before they stop supporting and cushioning the feet. If a sport involves a lot of running, replacing shoes after about 650 kilometres of use.
Starting activity slowly. Warming up before starting any activity or sport, and starting a new exercise program slowly.
Undertaking training prior to competition to ensure readiness to play.
Allowing adequate recovery time between workouts or training sessions.