Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis
If you suffer from heel pain, you may benefit from orthotics for plantar fasciitis. There are many different treatment options forplantar fasciitis, ranging from conservative to surgical. Using custom orthotics is one of the best ways to relieve symptoms and find comfort that is long term. Contact our office today to learn more about how we can help you relieve your foot pain and fit you with your own custom orthotics.
Among the most common orthopedic complaints that causes pain in the bottom of the heel is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thin band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to the front of your foot. It is an important component within the foot as it helps us walk and supports the arch of our foot. The plantar fascia acts as a shock absorber as we walk or run.
Benefits of Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis
Orthotic insoles realign your foot to take the pressure off of the plantar fascia, which relieves pain and discomfort. Clinical studies have concluded that orthotic insoles significantly decrease foot pain and other symptoms related to plantar fasciitis.
The plantar fascia is designed for strength as it supports your arch and protects your foot when walking. When excessive pressure is placed on the plantar fascia, your arch flattens more than usual and your foot becomes slightly longer. When this occurs, the plantar fascia cannot accommodate for this because it doesn’t stretch, therefore, the result is micro-tears in the heel area. This tearing is the cause of pain and discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis. This area will heal over time, but it needs the proper support of an orthotic insole. Orthotics for plantar fasciitis support the arch of the foot so that it does not flatten.
If you have foot pronation, which is inward tilting of the foot, orthotic insoles also correct this problem, which relieves added stress on the plantar fascia. These insoles securely and comfortably cradle your foot, relieving pain and discomfort.
Choosing the Right Orthotics
Making the right choice is extremely important for foot health, because the wrong orthotics can actually contribute to more pain. Insoles need to be functional and correct abnormal functioning of the foot while cushioning areas that are sore or painful.
Functional orthotic insoles that will be effective for support and pain relief can be purchased over the counter, but custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis are specifically molded for your feet and are more effective.
Considering your specific needs is an important part of getting started. For example, if you are a runner, you will need different support than a patient who is physically inactive. Orthotics for a runner would include foot stabilization and motion control, while someone stands all day for work could use arch support and an elevated heel.
Over The Counter Vs. Prescription Orthotics
As so much effort is put into crafting a custom orthotic insole, they are typically more expensive. The benefit of prescription insoles is that they are built in the orthopedic lab based on the three-dimensional cast of your foot made by your doctor and your prescription, which is written taking into account your specific weight, level of activity, and foot conditions. Orthotics bought at the store cannot provide this level of personalization.
Although custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis are more expensive, they are more durable. An over the counter orthotic insole may give you the support and stability you need for six to twelve months, but custom insoles can be effective for up to three years. In general, using orthotics that are custom made will provide the most benefit to your foot and overall health.
Tips for Caring for Your Orthotics
You can extend the life of your orthotic insoles with proper care. Consider these tips:
- Regularly remove orthotics to allow any trapped moisture to escape and to allow your shoe to dry out.
- If orthotics need to be washed, the best method is to hand wash them with a mild detergent and allow them to air dry before replacing in your shoe.
- Remove orthotics periodically to inspect them for any signs of wear or deterioration.
Your foot doctor can give you instructions for caring for your orthotics based on your specific equipment and your foot condition.
For more information about orthotics for plantar fasciitis, contact our office today. We can help you determine the exact cause of your heel pain and then complete a thorough evaluation and consultation in order to plan the best possible treatment options for you.