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The Role of Foot Biomechanics in Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a frequently experienced foot condition that is sometimes misdiagnosed as an injury caused by excessive use. At the start, individuals may experience discomfort in the heel or the area beneath the foot’s arch, which is a clear sign of an underlying problem related to balance and alignment. It’s important to address this issue promptly to prevent further complications.

If left untreated, this injury has the potential to deteriorate and develop into a chronic condition. The plantar fascia, which is a strong fibrous band connecting the toes, follows the base of the foot.


When engaging in the activities of walking or running, it is a natural phenomenon for your foot to experience a slight inward and forward rolling motion in order to effectively absorb shock with each step taken. This motion is common and seen in everyone; however, the degree to which it occurs may vary among individuals.

Overpronation, also known as overstretching, can lead to various issues such as heel pain, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints.

Diagnosing overpronation requires a trusted podiatrist to examine your feet closely. They will carefully check for signs of pronation, such as heel-to-toe alignment or standing with feet bent forward.

A reliable test for overpronation is the shoe tilt test. To administer this assessment, place two pairs of shoes on a table and place your heels on the surface.

Conversely, if your heels tilt outward, you are overpronating.

Excessive Supination

Supination can lead to plantar fasciitis, as it increases the amount of stress on your heel and plantar fascia. This pressure may cause your soleus muscle to contract and tighten, placing even more strain on this important structure.

To determine if you suffer from excessive supination, try the foot-print test at home. Dip your foot in water and step onto paper or cardboard to see how much of the arch can be seen in your footprint.

If at least half of your arch is visible, then your gait appears normal. On the other hand, if only part of it or none at all is visible, then there could be evidence of excessive supination present.

Poor Foot Stability

Poor foot stability can contribute to plantar fasciitis, as it causes people to overload the structures in their foot incorrectly. This causes the tendons in your feet to pull on the plantar fascia, leading to pain and inflammation at the bottom of your foot.

As previously discussed, the plantar fascia consists of three bands; lateral, medial and central. This stems from your medial tubercle on your calcaneus and extends downward onto the bottom of your foot to insert into proximal phalanges and flexor sheaths.

As you walk or run, these tendons transfer loads through your foot and ankle. As a core structure that supports the rest of your foot, they play an essential role in maintaining its health and functionality.

Poor Posture

Poor posture is a frequent factor that may contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis. This is because poor posture puts undue stress on your feet and legs.

One way to improve your posture is by finding a position that feels comfortable for you. This will help protect against injury and other health issues from occurring.

Another reason to avoid poor posture is that it can wear out the muscle fibers supporting your body. Bad posture often requires your muscles dedicated to movement – known as phasic fibers – rather than static ones which typically provide support.

Researchers are investigating whether sitting in an awkward posture for short periods before physical activities affects performance. To test this hypothesis, eight sEMG sensors placed at back muscles were utilized.


You might also like to read:

Plantar People
Occupational Hazards: Plantar Fasciitis in the Workplace

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