The bottoms of things have, in general, been much maligned. The bottom of the barrel, bottom of the ocean, bottom of the slag-heap, and more bottoms are generally thought of as dark, dirty, or otherwise unpleasant places. But just think how important bottoms can be: the bottom of a ship, for instance, while sometimes sloshing with bilge-water, is nonetheless essential in a ship’s overall well-being. When its bottom fails, the ship goes down to the bottom of the ocean. Which is full of bottom-dwellers, as we well know.
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The bottoms of feet are likewise very important. Think about it: all the weight of your body presses down on your poor, overworked feet. And towards the bottom of the foot is a band of tissue called the plantar fascia (a fascia is similar to a ligament) which connects to the bottom of your heel bone and fans out to the base of your toes. It helps support the structure of the bones at the bottom of your foot. Unfortunately, we don’t seem to appreciate what the plantar fascia does for us until it decides to go bottoms-up.
Like many tissues, the plantar fascia can become stretched over time, particularly in people with unusually high or low arches, or who are overweight, tend to do a lot of physical activity like running and jumping, wear shoes with little or no support, or have a tight Achilles tendon. Spending a lot of time on hard, flat surfaces (like a concrete floor) can also lead to problems. Plantar fasciitis may show up in either gender, although it most often affects people in late middle age (about 40 to 60).