suspension bridge compared to foot plantar fascia tendon

suspension bridge shown works much like the plantar fascia tendon

The exact causes of plantar fasciitis are not entirely known at this time. Below are 5 risk factors that are believed to contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis.

5 Causes of Plantar Fasciitis


As we learned in the What is Plantar Fasciitis post, the plantar fascia is a tendon. Tendons can be thought of like a suspension bridges cables. The smaller cables that connect the main cable to the bridge deck they are designed to be stiff, but have some slight flex. Same for the tendon in your feet. They connect the bones together and help hold them in place, but can flex slightly without damage when needed. Just like a bridge, your body was built and is accustomed to support a certain weight range. A sudden increase in that weight, such as pregnancy, can create more force that the tendon is not prepared and use to handling, thus creating tears and causing plantar fasciitis.

Poor Shoes

One of the most likely causes of plantar fasciitis is poor shoes. Excessive activity in shoes that do not provide proper arch support has been linked to plantar fasciitis. Shoes should be flat, lace-up and provide good arch support and cushioning. All shoes recommend on this site should provide all of these attributes and be helpful in preventing plantar fasciitis.

Don’t let poor shoes be a cause of your plantar fasciitis. See our list of shoes for plantar fasciitis to help cure and prevent plantar fasciitis.

Foot Mechanics

This includes pronation of the foot, high arches, flat feet, tight calf muscles, and tight Achilles tendon. All of these issues can cause an abnormal walk which can distribute weight on the foot in such way as to add extra stress on the plantar fascia, thus overstretching the plantar fascia on the heel. The foot mechanics is probably the most likely cause we have listed in our list of causes of plantar fasciitis.


The natural process of aging. As you age the plantar fascia becomes less stretchy and the pad on the heel of the foot becomes thinner in which it can absorb less shock. This makes it easier to damage the plantar fascia which can cause it to swell, tear, and bruise.

Career & Sports 

The job you have may be contributing to your pain. Spending most of the day on your feet especially on a hard surface like concrete can put a lot of stress on the plantar fascia. Any sport that puts lots of stress on the feet such as running, dancing or a sport that involves lots of jumping. This can be especially true if you haven’t been very active then all of the sudden are; there is a higher risk of injury since your feet are not use to that level of activity.


Image Credit: “Clifton Suspension Bridge” by damo1977 is licensed under CC 2.0
grass – 365grateful 018” by Heather Katsoulis is licensed under CC SA 2.0