This article is from the Big Folks Health FAQ, by email@example.com (Sharon Curtis) with numerous contributions by others.
The plantar fascia is a muscle along the underside of the foot, and
if it gets inflamed it can cause heel pain. This usually manifests
itself as pain at the front of the heel, when getting out of bed in
the mornings and also after sitting down for a while.
Being large is a risk factor for plantar fasciitis, with a greater
proportion of fat folk having it than in the population in general.
However this is not a fat person's disease; the primary risk factor
is from being athletic and there are plenty of thin active folks with
this disease. Also having flat feet is a contributing factor.
There are various treatments. The most simple (and usually very effective)
include special stretching exercises, rest, heel lifts, shoe inserts,
ice, massage. If those don't work, other options such as night splints,
orthotics, injections, weightloss and surgery could be tried. Medication
and surgery are definitely the last resort.
Take care not to go barefoot, or just in stockings/socks. Also, do not
bound out of bed in the morning. Give the blood a chance to go to
your feet first. If you exercise a lot, you might want to consider
changing to non-weight-bearing exercise, like cycling or swimming.
Go to a podiatrist, and sort it out early before it gets worse
as time goes on.
Scott Roberts' excellent web page on plantar fasciitis
at http://www.mindspring.com/~scottr/foot.htm is a very good source of