What does body mass do to the plantar fascia?

Plantar Heel Pain has always been a particular interest of mine, I guess because I have just seen SO many of these problem feet over the years, and, because we still seem to understand so little about it.

However, of ALL the factors, intrinsic and extrinsic, that have been associated with PHP in the literature, increased BMI, an index for body weight (not necessarily fat) is one of the few repeatedly validated by randomised control trials, systematic reviews or meta-analyses.

So a new study looking at this particular aspect of the causative factors for plantar heel pain really made me snap to attention.

Effects of Body Mass Index on Mechanical Properties of the Plantar Fascia and Heel Pad in Asymptomatic Participants
Serkan Tau015f, MSc, PT, Nilgün Bek, Prof, PT, Mehmet Ruhi Onur, Assoc Prof, MD, 
Foot & Ankle International First Published May 23, 2017 Research Article


Musculoskeletal foot disorders have a high incidence among overweight and obese individuals. One of the important factors causing this high incidence may be plantar fascia and heel pad (HP)–related mechanical changes occurring in these individuals. The aim of the present study was to investigate the plantar fascia and HP stiffness and thickness parameters in overweight and obese individuals and compare these values with those of normal-weight individuals.

Simon Bartold
Director of Bartold Clinical