MAYBE. While this condition is not inherited, and there is no such gene for plantar fasciitis, foot type, obesity, overweight, and tight calf muscles or equinus can be. These body mechanics can put someone at risk of getting it.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition causing you to feel pain in the heel. Perhaps you have wondered, “is plantar fasciitis genetic?” Whether you are suffering from this condition or your loved one, it is critical to know its reason.
There is NO strong correlation between genetic factors and plantar fasciitis. Nobody has a DNA heel spur marker or a plantar fasciitis gene.
In this post, you will have a deeper understanding of plantar fasciitis. Keep reading to know how genetic factors contribute to developing this condition.
Plantar Fasciitis: what is it? (Is Plantar Fasciitis Genetic)
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes heel pain. This condition involves plantar fascia inflammation.
This fibrous, tough tissue band runs along the foot sole and attaches to the toes’ base and the heel bone. During walking, it plays a critical role in normal foot mechanics. It also supports the foot arch.
When you push off on the toes and ball of the foot and place weight on the foot, stress or tension in the plantar fascia increases. This tissue loses resilience or elasticity in time or with overuse. It also gets irritated with routine everyday activities.
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What are the genetic risk factors in plantar fasciitis development?
Dr. Bela Pandit states, “Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis can certainly have a hereditary link. Both obesity (which places excessive stress on the plantar fascia) and foot type (particularly flat feet with tibial tendon weakness) are two significant factors that contribute to plantar fasciitis and have a strong genetic link.”
Below are the genetic factors that can lead to developing plantar fasciitis:
1. Foot Type
If you have very low arches or flat feet, you are most likely to develop this condition. People with this foot type usually roll their feet in, which overstretches the plantar fascia. This overstretching causes small tears at the heel bottom, resulting in pain and inflammation.
Flat feet are a homozygous recessive genetic trait shared by 10 to 20 percent of the general population. For example, if one of your parents has a flat fleet, there is a 50 percent chance that you will have a flat fleet. If both your parents have this foot type, you and your siblings will have flat feet.
2. Tight Calf Muscles or Equinus
You can inherit tight calf muscles or equinus. It is a common factor in developing plantar fasciitis.
If you have tight calf muscles, you tend to alter the way you move to offset your limited ankle motions. In most cases, it leads to flattening of the arch, which causes stress on the plantar fascia.
Wearing high heels can also develop tight or shortened calf muscles. Even if you have a neutral foot type, there is still a chance that you will develop plantar fasciitis if you have an equinus.
3. Overweight and Obesity
Extra weight can also be inherited. If you are overweight, you are susceptible to developing plantar fasciitis. Placing an extra pound of weight leads to more stress on the plantar fascia and your feet.
Most people assume that being overweight or obese results from calorie intake. However, a new study suggests that genetics has a critical role in how your body stores and releases fat. About 40 to 70 percent of genes have an impact on whether or not you will become overweight.
Is it important to know the genetic risk factors for plantar fasciitis development?
Keep in mind that genetics is complicated; it is just a pinch to know whether or not you will develop plantar fasciitis.
According to Dr. Robert Kornfeld, questions about genetics and plantar fasciitis have no simple answers. Epigenetics (environment, lifestyle, and diet) usually interact with foot biometrics and other genetic factors. Meaning, that even if you have the same foot structure as other people, it does not necessarily mean that you will have similarly experienced heel pain.
Understanding the genetic risk factors helps someone be proactive in seeking treatment or recognizing the warning signs. However, these factors are not a surefire diagnosis.
What are the other risk factors for plantar fasciitis development?
Here are other factors for developing this painful condition:
1. Field of Work
Do you always stand at work? It can increase your risk for plantar fasciitis, especially if you stand on hard surfaces like cement for extended hours. Standing steadily can increase stress on the foot arch and supporting muscles.
2. Hobbies and Activity Level
Staying active is critical to maintaining a healthy weight. Remember that healthy weight help prevents excessive stress and pressure on your foot arch. However, high-impact exercise routines and sports can increase your risk of getting plantar fasciitis.
In other words, if you love running marathons or playing soccer, golf (involves lots of standing), or basketball, you have to be cautious of the plantar fasciitis’ warning signs.
3. Footwear Preferences
Do you always wear slippers at home? Or you love to spend summer days wearing flip-flops?
If you often wear unsupportive shoes during your childhood years, this habit may continue in adulthood. It is recommended to wear shoes that can distribute impact properly and support your arch.
Speaking of footwear, you can check out our top picks for the best slippers with arch support.
When to consult a doctor?
See a doctor if the heel pain is ongoing. If you ignore plantar fasciitis, it can lead to potential damage to your foot structures.
The doctor will examine your foot for signs of plantar fasciitis, including:
- Tenderness or pain in the heel bone’s front
- More pain when applying pressure to the plantar fascia and flexing the foot
- Limited movements in the ankle
Lifestyle factors and genetics are not a sentence of plantar fasciitis. However, knowing the common risk factors will help prevent or relieve chronic as early as possible. Do not hesitate to try different preventive care options. If you want to know about common pain relievers, feel free to read our post about treatment for plantar fasciitis.