Can Plantar Fasciitis Cause Hip Pain?

Can plantar fasciitis cause hip pain? It is complained by many people who are unable to walk for a long period of time. It means, not only the feet are affected.

Can Plantar Fasciitis Cause Hip Pain

But also the hip, thighs, and lower leg. Any changes on one part of the leg can have a potential affectation on the walking, and posture of an individual.

But what is Plantar Fasciitis? It is nothing but the inflammation of a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes and also runs across the foot bottom. This affects runners and it is the most common orthopedic condition diagnosed.

Sharp pain can occur in the morning and can be reduced after moving. And can be located from the heel bone, the midpart of the foot to the toes attached to it. On the other hand, it is normal to micro-injuries because of wear-and-tear. But it is also important when the symptoms persist, and there are certain factors why it has occurred. 

Risk Factors of Plantar Fasciitis

The overall prevalence of plantar fasciitis is more common in people who are 45 to 64-year-olds. Cases are also higher in the female population than in males.

Active women and men in this age are prone to develop it, especially if they are runners, or do any activity involving prolonged walking. This can from the nature of work as well. 

There are case studies that people with flat feet (pes planus) develop plantar fasciitis, and it remains a question whether is true or not.

Nonetheless, obesity, having a high BMI, or overweight people are prone to develop plantar fasciitis. Increased body mass could cause changes in the mechanical properties of HP and plantar fascia.


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Hip Pain and Plantar Fascitiis

Did you know that plantar fasciitis can cause not only hip pain but also affect your posture and walking?

This is due to the compensation of areas involved, once a part of a leg is compromised, compensatory positions can occur. This will cause overactivity of the muscles, from the tightness of the counterpart. 

Hip Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

The affected foot is pronated as part of the compensation, facing outward from the pain experienced on the heels.

The tibial area will rotate inward, making your knees look knocked together (valgus knees).

With that, the inward rotation continues on your thigh bones, and your pelvis will curve right to the back (anterior pelvic tilt). Appearing leaning forward. It’s not just the leg alignment is involved, but also the muscles are affected.

From the inflammation of the fascia, overactivity of calf muscles can occur to maintain the alignment of the foot. This prevents dorsiflexion on the area, thus, the pronated foot appearance. Tightness on the area can also be developed if not compensated

Ascending to the knees, overactivity of the hip abductors (TFL) can occur from your knocked knees. On the other hand, reduced movement is seen to your inner thighs (adductors).

Demographics show that it is usually common in runners to have tight inner thighs, thus it is a prevalent muscle activity imbalance for them to experience. 

This brings us to the point. In simple words, our flexed hips are caused by the overactivity of the quadriceps (hip extensors). This can lead to the tightness of hamstrings (hip flexors), and weakness in the gluteal area.

The misalignment of the pelvis, drawn backward can cause pain on the hip bones. The misalignment of the pelvis called anterior pelvic tilt is a normal movement of the trunk. Especially if we are standing up.

But over time, the improper alignment on our legs causes weakness on the gluteus medius and minimus. This causes problems not only in posture but in your walking. And even other conditions like, snapping hip syndrome, or hip bursitis. 


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Diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis

People who are experiencing specific pain on their heel bone, at the back of their feet, or within the toes are qualified to undergo tests. This is through a physician’s permission, in order to differentiate whether there are other problems that occurred in the area. 


MRI findings will include the plantar fascia thickening, at its origin is calcaneal, edema in the adjacent soft tissue, and other factors that indicate inflammation in the area.

This is the most commonly used diagnostic tool in order to detect the severity of plantar fascia disorder. Not only that, it can detect other orthopedic/musculoskeletal problems to be in mind.


Despite this, plain radiography should not be used to make a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis without knowledge of clinical history or physical examination findings.

Diagnose Plantar Fasciitis

PF thickness can be measured with accuracy on lateral plain radiographs of the ankle and foot. Nonetheless, it can be used to detect other conditions like heel spurs, or any bony abnormalities, especially if there is any fracture involved in the area. 


There are physicians that use ultrasounds, specifically MSK Ultrasound, to detect ligament, muscle, or fascial changes.

Partial or complete interruption of the plantar fascia is seen in the Sonographic findings of the rupture of PF, this hypoechoic tissue at the site of rupture is related to local hemorrhage and inflammation. 


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What To Do About it? 

Plantar fasciitis and other conditions involved usually takes 6-12 months to be treated. But sometimes, it can take a shorter period of time.

A physician will either refer you to the medical interventions including taking pain medications, doing pain relief remedies at home. If it has interrupted your activities at home, you will be advised to under physical therapy. 

A physician will recommend you some the following, according to NHS

Rest and raise your foot on a stool when you can

Rest is essential especially if you’ve been walking as your job or a runner. Raising your foot on a stool, or an elevated foot from bed can relieve the inflammation on the fascia. These pain relief methods are to offload your heel or feet from your body weight. 

Put an ice pack (or bag of frozen peas) in a towel on the painful area 

For up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours, ice pack can be applied whenever you are taking a rest, or whenever your foot is raised. You can also apply it whenever it’s painful, and remove it once you feel numb on the area already. This can help you have pain relief through cold therapy. 

Wear wide comfortable shoes with a low heel and soft sole 

What are these? A podiatrist can help you answer these qualifications for footwear. But to make it simple, a low heel and soft sole can give relief to attached bony areas of toes, and lessen the pain experienced on the foot involved.

A heel pad and sole pad can also be added for weight-bearing of the calcaneal area.  See more of the best shoes for older runners and seniors here. 

Correction of the pronation of the foot can realign the lower leg and thigh. The treatments for PF are orthotics and corticosteroid injections according to many studies. 

Orthotics, customized or prefabricated, have been shown to improve pain and function within 1 to 3 months with little to no risk

Take Medications

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) play a major role in reducing the pain and inflammation of the PF. The doctor will prescribe medicines for weeks.

If the pain is more and it doesn’t come down NSAIDs, you may have to take steroids. Although, these injections are temporary for only 6 months.

Physical Therapy and Exercise

Physical therapy is recommended for patients if home remedies, pain medications, or even rest never works. But importantly, this works whenever it has been affecting your activities of daily living.

What to do with Plantar Fasciitis

As a physical therapist, patients that undergo physical therapy see significant changes not only to their pain but also their ability to do their tasks once again. 

Exercises are the main course of action when there is a problem with movement. The most common exercise done for plantar fasciitis is, rolling the arch of your feet.

This will help ease the tension on the area, stretch, and release any nodules involved. It is recommended especially if you will be getting up from bed to stand

Why is it relevant? Addressing the feet is one, but the affectation of the lower legs, thighs, hips, and even the back is also necessary to realign your legs, posture, and walking.

As mentioned earlier, pronation of the foot from the plantar fascia can cause significant changes in our leg alignment. A physical therapist will also be able to prevent further problems in the future. 

Two studies have mentioned that hip strengthening has been significant for patients with plantar fasciitis.

To improve the management of plantar fasciitis which is followed by high-arch deformity, doctors will first treat the muscle weakness in the hip abductor and the other therapists will try to integrate hip strengthening exercises.

The other case study mentioned that addressing the hip abductor muscles can be integrated with manual therapy.

The manual intervention consisted of passive joint manipulation of the ankle and foot (using both the Maitland mobilization techniques and Mulligan mobilization techniques.) Significant improvement has been seen with this patient. 

Not just that, stretching exercises can help relieve pain and promote flexibility on your calves. Not only that, parts involved especially on the hips.

Being able to stretch the tight muscles whilst strengthening can maintain optimal tolerance. Here are some exercises for you to do from the Healthline.