Dr Jim Murray, Medical Advisor to Aussie Soles, shares his thoughts on Plantar Fasciitis

What could Elaine Page, Pete Sampras, Matt Damon, Beyonce and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson possibly have in common? The answer: they all suffer from Plantar Fasciitis - chronic pain in the foot.

Of the 200+ bones in our body, 25% are in our feet. Each foot has 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. Estimates suggest that when we run, a force equivalent to 3 times our bodyweight is exerted on our feet. A 2.5” heel can increase pressure on the forefoot by 75%, and the pressure exerted by a stiletto heel has been favourably compared to that of a barefoot elephant! We put our feet through their paces and the resulting foot problems can be debilitating. There are as many treatments as causes, but one thing that seems to unite opinion is that sufferers of Plantar Fasciitis need arch support.


This is the most common cause of heel pain and although it occurs most frequently in active women and men between the ages of 40 and 70, it occurs in other adults and is also a common cause of foot pain in children. Most sufferers will only have the problem in one foot but 1 in 3 will have it in both.

A ‘fascia’ is a sheet or band of fibrous tissue that forms a covering to muscles and other organs in the body. ‘Plantar’ refers to the sole of the foot. 

The plantar fascia is a sheet of fibrous tissue that extends from the base of the heel bone and fans out to reach the muscles of the big toe and the other toes. It forms a supportive structure between the skin of the sole and the tendons and bones of the foot.

It acts as a shock absorbing ‘bowstring’ supporting the arch of the foot. If physical stress on this structure is too great or too long lasting, then stretching of the fibrous tissue will occur, and even small (or micro-) tears may result. 

This leads to irritation, inflammation and pain – typically a stabbing pain in the sole near the heel bone. The pain is usually worse on getting up in the morning (‘1st Step Pain’) and worse after exercise, not during it.

Pain can be especially bad if wearing non-supportive footwear. This condition is called ‘plantar fasciitis’.

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by the way weight is distributed on standing and exercising, placing added stress on the plantar fascia. Poor arch support is common to these factors.

Wearing correct arch support can help to ease the painful symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis.

Dr. Jim Murray

The orthotic design of Aussie Soles Starfish Flip-Flops provides anatomically correct arch support that sufferers of plantar fasciitis need, particularly first thing in the morning when stepping out of bed. They hug your feet, providing a healthy alternative to traditional flat flip-flops and a more relaxing substitute to shoes and orthotic insoles.

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