You have plantar fasciitis and you've heard that orthotics for plantar fasciitis can help heal it. So you head to the drugstore and buy a pair of soft, pillowy insoles but find the pain only gets worse. What gives? Can foot insoles for plantar fasciitis really help heal the problem?
The Basics ---
- Will adding orthotic inserts for plantar fasciitis to your footwear heal your foot pain? Well, it really all depends on whether you're adding the right kind.
- Certain people are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis than others, including people with flat feet and high arches.
- The most effective way to relieve plantar fasciitis pain (and prevent recurrence) is to keep your arches from flattening by adding firm arch support to your footwear.
- We recommend Tread Labs Pace insoles for people with plantar fasciitis. They offer the firm, medical grade support needed to support your plantar fascia, a precise fit that mimics the contours of your foot, and a deep heel cup.
What You Need To Know ---
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Your plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that connects your heel bone to the base of your toes. You can feel your own plantar fascia by pulling your big toe towards your ankle and feeling the pronounced ridge that runs down the middle of your arch.
Plantar fasciitis (fashy-EYE-tis) is an inflammation of this band of connective tissue. When the band is overstretched, tears occur on the surface of the fibrous tissue. Inflammation and pain follow. Pain usually occurs where the plantar fascia attaches at the center/bottom of your heel bone.
Plantar Fasciitis is the most common foot condition in the USA. 1 in 10 people will experience this painful ailment at some point in their lifetime. The most common symptom is a stabbing pain on the bottom of your heel. The pain is often worse in the morning or after standing for an extended period.
Who Gets Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury. It is a chronic irritation of the foot due to excessive strain. With this in mind, some people are more prone to developing the condition than others including athletes, people who stand on concrete all day, and people with flat feet or high arches.
- Runners and ballet dancers - High stress activities put more stress on the plantar fascia
- People who are overweight - More weight = more stress on your feet.
- Those who stand on hard surfaces all day - We were not designed to stand on concrete all day.
- People with flat feet – When you have flat feet or fallen arches, your plantar fascia overstretches every time you take a step.
- People with high arches – The opposite can occur when you have high, inflexible arches. When you walk, your plantar fascia remains rigid, absorbing too much weight too quickly.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia, in addition to other muscles and tendons in the foot and lower leg, supports your arch. When excessive forces collapse the arch, plantar fasciitis can occur.
Basic Foot Bio-Mechanics
Here is how your weight should transfer through your foot as you take a normal step:
- Your foot strikes the ground at the outside corner of the heel. Wear on your shoe at a 45 degree angle is completely normal.
- Your weight moves to the center of your heel, making use of the body's natural fatty pad, located beneath the heel bone.
- As the foot rolls forward, your weight transfers along the outside of your foot until it reaches the ball of your foot.
- The center of weight then moves inward, across the ball of your foot. This inward rolling motion absorbs some of the shock of the step and is called pronation.
- When your center of weight has moved to a spot just behind the 2nd toe, you push off onto the other foot.
Unfortunately, most people's bio-mechanics are not perfect. Most steps actually end more like this:
- As the weight shifts inward across the ball of the foot, it continues past the area behind the second toe. This excessive rolling motion is called over-pronation.
- When this happens, the arch of the foot stretches, putting stress on the plantar fascia. In addition, the ankle, knee and hip rotate inward, compromising the alignment of your bones and joints.
Relieving Pain From Plantar Fasciitis
To relieve pain from plantar fasciitis and keep it from coming back, a 3-prong approach works best:
- Reduce inflammation using ice and ibuprofen
- Stretch and strengthen the ankle, foot, and calf muscles
- Use orthotics for plantar fasciitis to address the cause as well as the symptoms. A pair of firm inserts designed to take the pressure off your plantar fascia will allow it to heal.
Doing these three simple things to care for your plantar fascia over time will help prevent your symptoms from recurring so you can say goodbye to this painful condition for good.
But before you take the next step and head to the store (or look online) searching for a new orthotic to help with your heel pain, you should know what to look for in a pain relief insole product.
What Are The Best Insoles For Plantar Fasciitis?
Shoe insoles for plantar fasciitis relieve pain by limiting pronation (the foot rolling inward) and taking stress off the plantar fascia. That allows it to heal so you can start and end your day feeling great.
To be effective, the best plantar fasciitis shoe inserts should have these features: firm, structured support, an arch height that matches yours, and a deep heel cup for shock absorption.
- Firm, Structured Support - Firm support is necessary to properly support the arch, remove stress from the plantar fascia, and limit pronation. Plantar fasciitis inserts will not buckle or deflect under force. If your insoles do, or if they are made from soft foam, it's a sign they will not do the job.
- Great Arch Fit - To be effective, you need to support your plantar fascia properly. But that can only happen if the arch height of your insole matches the arch height of your foot. While you don't need custom insoles, you do need orthotic inserts for plantar fasciitis that offer a choice of arch heights.
- Shock Absorption - The fatty pad beneath your heel bone is nature's way of absorbing the shock and impact from each step you take. A deep heel cup keeps the fatty pad centered beneath the heel and that alignment promotes shock absorption. Foot inserts for plantar fasciitis with a deep heel cup also add to the stability of the foot, improving balance as well as performance in sports related activities.
The Bottom Line
For insoles to actually help your plantar fasciitis, you need them to provide firm support that matches the contours of your feet. That starts with determining your arch height. Once you know your arch height, you can choose your plantar fasciitis inserts based on the shoes in which you'll wear them.
You'll want different top cover thicknesses depending on whether you shoes have thick full-length removable inserts, thin full-length removable inserts, or no removable inserts at all.
To make sure you're giving your aches the full support they need, find plantar fasciitis inserts that match your arch height - low, medium, high or extra high. Orthotic inserts for plantar fasciitis work best when they match the contours of our arch, giving you firm support across your foot.
Plantar fasciitis is a pain, but with the right care, you can be back to doing what you love, pain free.
Questions? Drop us a line at email@example.com. We're here to help.