This article originally appeared in Shape.
So you've picked up running or maybe you've started training for your first race this year—until an irritating, intense pain in your heel slows your sprint to a slog. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you could have plantar fasciitis, one of the most common beginner runner's injuries. There are often ways (including plantar fasciitis exercises) to manage it at home, though. So you can get back to hitting the pavement again in no time. Here's what you need to know about plantar fasciitis and the best plantar fasciitis exercises to ease foot pain.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a very common condition that affects up to 15 percent of adults, says Stephen Roeske, D.P.M., a podiatrist at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. It occurs when your plantar fascia gets inflamed. This fascia is a thick band of connective tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot from your heel bone to your toes and supports your arch. In extreme cases, the inflammation can even lead to the degeneration of the plantar fascia and its attachment on the calcaneus, or heel bone, says Roeske.