The plantar fascia is a very thick band of tissue that covers the bones on the bottom of the foot. It extends from the heel to the bones of the ball of the foot and acts like a rubber band to create tension which maintains the arch of the foot. If the band is long it allows the arch of the foot to be low, which is most commonly known as having a flat foot. A short band of tissue causes a high arch. This fascia can become inflamed and painful in some people, making walking more difficult.
Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.