The plantar fascia is a band of ligament that connects the heel to the toes. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of this structure and is the most common cause of heel pain or pain in the bottom of the foot. Athletes such as runners and basketball players frequently suffer from this condition but it can occur for a number of structural reasons. People who have high arches, flat feet, or excessive pronation (inward roll of the foot) can all develop plantar fasciitis.
Symptoms include sharp stabbing pain that is worse when trying to stand or walk. Frequently, the pain is worse in the morning with the first few steps. A common home remedy for plantar fasciitis is rolling a frozen plastic bottle of water under the arch of the foot to help decrease the inflammation with ice and stretch the ligament with the rolling motion. Stretching of the toes, calf, and foot (by pulling up on a towel that is wrapped under the foot) are all helpful exercises to mitigate this condition. Taping has shown to be beneficial for plantar fasciitis.