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Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, and is often as result of the overstretching of the plantar fascia (a tendon that runs under the foot), that in turn causes degeneration in the fascia. It is more common in sports which involve running, dancing or jumping. Although overuse is ultimately the cause of injury, there are a number of factors which can increase the likelihood of developing it including overpronation, a high arched foot, tight calf muscles, poor footwear, being overweight and previous injury.
There are many simple measures that can help prevent plantar fasciitis, from stretching, to icing, to ensuring that you have the right footwear. For instance, as a runner, you should change shoes every 400 miles or 6 months, to ensure that there is adequate padding.