The Plantar Fascia is a broad ligament that starts at the front of the heel bone on the bottom, and travels forward along the arch to anchor at the ball of the foot (or “metatarsal bones”). “-itis” refers to inflammation. So “plantar fasciitis” means inflammation of the plantar fascia.This ligament helps to hold the shape of the arch of the foot, to help keep the “spring” in our step. This shape acts as a shock absorber to protect the rest of our body from the impact of our feet on the ground. Walking on hard surfaces (eg. Concrete, asphalt, terrazzo as in schools, malls etc.) on a regular basis is a well-known cause of plantar fasciitis, as the plantar fascia eventually begins to get inflamed and break down from the repetitive impact of these hard surfaces. The emergence of this condition may also indicate a problem in the alignment of the foot and arch, causing the arch to be unable to effectively absorb the shock of impact and weight bearing. When this is the case, only Custom Foot Orthotics are likely to help in the long term, by supporting the arch from below and thereby relieving the strain to the Plantar Fascia. The typical symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis include pain in the heel/arch of the foot for the first few steps out of bed in the morning, or for the first few steps after being seated or lying down for a while. This is because the plantar fascia has had a chance to shorten during a period of no weight on the arch, then when the body weight is applied to the arch again, the strain to the plantar fascia is resumed. After a few steps, the fascia begins to stretch out again. Generally speaking, more severe cases of Plantar Fasciitis may not become less tender after the first few steps, or may become only a little less tender, due to increased inflammation. Effective treatment for Plantar Fasciitis includes Cold Laser Therapy, Ice Massage, Custom Foot Orthotics (if chronic) and rest (ie. minimize weight bearing).