Plantar fasciitis can truly be debilitating at times, and I am sure you’re aware that quality insoles have been said to help with the healing process. So, you go out and buy some supportive insoles that feel like you’re walking on a cloud, only to realize that the foot pain you’re experiencing seems to get worse. This has you wondering, are insoles or a protective insert really the go-to option for the treatment of plantar fasciitis?
WHAT IS PLANTAR FASCIITIS?
The plantar fascia represents a dense grouping of tissue that links the bottom of your toes to your heel bone. Pull your large toe into your foot to feel the noticeable ridgeline that runs down the center of the arch and feel your own plantar fascia.
According to MayoClinic, “Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).”
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue in the bottom of the foot. When the band is over-extended too far, tears appear on the fibrous tissue’s surface. You will then likely experience some inflammation. The plantar fascia binds to the center/bottom of your heel bone, thus you’re likely to feel plantar fascia strain (or plantar heel pain) specific to these spots.
DrScholls says, “Plantar fasciitis occurs when the band of tissue along the underside of your foot, called the plantar fascia, is overstretched and aggravates the attachment at the heel bone. This can cause pain with every step you take.”
In the United States, plantar fasciitis is one of the most frequent foot issues we see. This debilitating ailment will affect one out of every ten people at any stage in their lives. A stabbing sensation at the base of the heel is the most frequent symptom. The discomfort is usually the worst first thing in the morning. It can also affect you after long periods of standing as well.
ARE PLANTAR FASCIITIS INSOLES THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR ME?
Will wearing insoles in your shoes help you recover from plantar fasciitis? The short response is yes, but only if you purchase the appropriate kind. Essentially, the idea of simply buying store-bought inserts might seem the easiest process but it isn’t necessarily the best approach for finding effective inserts for your needs.
- Those with flat feet and high arches, for example, are more likely to have plantar fasciitis than others.
- Keeping the arches from flattening by wearing a type of shoe with solid arch protection, is the best way to help alleviate the pain associated with plantar fasciitis.
- Plantar fasciitis sufferers should try Tread Labs Pace insoles. It’s important that you find a piece that has a deep heel cup, while also mimicking your foot’s shape and contours. This is medical-grade protection for your plantar fascia.
WHO GETS PLANTAR FASCIITIS?
We typically see cases of plantar fasciitis due to the result of a timeworn injury, Excessive strain causes persistent inflammation within the foot. As a result, there are those that are more likely to be afflicted with the disorder than others, such as runners, and those who stand on asphalt, concrete, and solid surfaces all day. Also, people who have flat feet and even raised arches tend to be more prone to experiencing this at some point in their life.
- High-stress practices place an additional strain on the ligament. Ballet dancers and runners are typically the most likely group to suffer from this.
- Those that spend their days standing on rigid surfaces – Humans were not made to spend our days standing on harder man-made surfaces.
- Overweight people – More weight equals more burden on your feet.
- Flat-footed people – Your ligament gets overtaxed every time you take a turn whether you have flat feet or collapsed arches.
- Those that have high arches– If you have strong, rigid arches, the reverse will happen. Your ligament becomes stiff as you walk.
WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS?
Your arch is supported by the plantar ligament, as well as other tendons and muscles in your feet and lower leg. Plantar fasciitis may develop when undue forces break down in the arch.
HOW FOOT BIO-MECHANICS WORK
When you take a regular step, your weight will pass through your feet as follows step by step:
- The outer edge of your heel makes contact with the surface beneath as your foot hits the ground. Because of this, it’s normal for your shoes to show wear at about an angle of 45-degrees.
- Using the body’s metatarsalgia (the sole of your feet) located just under the heel bone, your weight shifts to the middle of your foot.
- Your weight is transferred along the outside of your foot until it meets the ball of your foot as your foot rolls forward.
- The weight shifts inward and around the ball of the foot. Pronation is the inward rolling motion. This helps absorb some of the shocks when you’ve planted your foot.
- You step off onto the other foot until the center of your weight has shifted to a position just below your 2nd toe.
Unfortunately, the biomechanics of the majority of people aren’t great. In fact, most movements end up looking like this:
- It moves past the region behind the second toe while the weight transfers inward around the ball of your feet. Over-pronation is the term for this severe rolling motion.
- The arch of your feet then extends, as a result, causing strain on the plantar ligament. In conjunction, the elbow, knee, and your hip rotate upward, putting the muscles and joints out of balance.
HOW TO RELIEVE PAIN FOR YOUR PLANTAR FASCIITIS
A three-pronged strategy works well for relieving plantar fasciitis pain and preventing it from returning:
- Taking over-the-counter pain medication like Ibuprofen, as well as applying ice, can have dual-action relief for reducing inflammation.
- The muscles of the foot, ankle, and calf should be stretched and strengthened on a regular basis.
- Use custom orthotics to help with plantar fasciitis. This will help get to the root of the problem, while also soothing symptoms that might arise.
THE BEST TYPES OF INSOLES FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS
Plantar fasciitis shoe inserts reduce discomfort by preventing the extended promotion of your foot rolling inward. Firm protection, a perfect fit that meshes with the contours of your arch, a deep heel cup, and durable cushioning are all qualities that the right insoles for plantar fasciitis should provide.
- In order to adequately hold up the arch and restrict pronation, firm support is required. This is where firm cushioning, medical-grade arch support comes into play. Soft foam insoles or those with soft special cushioning and foam might not suffice.
- Firm support must match the profile of the arch in order to do its job well.
Plantar fasciitis orthotic inserts that fit your foot perfectly will offer unyielding support without sacrificing comfort.
- Nature’s way of reducing the effect of each move is a fatty pad under the heel bone (or the deep heel cup). A special orthotic with a deep heel cup holds the fat pad balanced under the base of the foot, where it can easily absorb shock. Contoured heel cups also improve balance and efficiency in sporting events by increasing foot support.
- Our heel’s unique shock-absorbing pads support a lot, but it won’t be enough by itself. Humans were not designed to walk all day on cement and other stiff surfaces. When addressing the best, and more versatile insoles for plantar fasciitis, it’s important that they include a layer of special foam at the top of the arch that builds support. This helps add supportive cushioning for soothing comfort.
HOW TO BEST USE PLANTAR FASCIITIS INSOLES
The first step is simple, whether it’s a dress shoe or a regular type of shoe style, would be to remove the insoles that came as a default within them. Most of the time these are removable, so simply just take them out.
To measure for scale, insert your plantar fasciitis orthotics into your shoe, with the fabric side up. Then simply trim the orthotic along the outline (on the bottom of the orthotic between the toes) that corresponds to your foot size if necessary.
Check that the orthotic is flat against the bottom of your foot, especially in the toe section. Continue to trim if needed if it doesn’t work without bunching. You will likely want to replace orthotics after six months or when the first signs of wear appear.
Step Forward Custom Orthotics
Choosing the best insole for your plantar fasciitis pain begins by deciding the arch height of your foot.
If you’ve determined your arch height, you can pick your plantar fasciitis inserts depending on the type of shoes you’ll be wearing. Depending on if your shoes have dense full-length removable inserts, thin full-length removable inserts, or no removable inserts at all, you’ll want various top cover thicknesses.
Find specialized insoles that fit your arch height – low, medium, heavy, or extra-high – to ensure you’re providing your aches with the maximum support they need. Plantar fasciitis pain relief insoles function well when they conform to the contours of our arch, providing solid protection around the entire foot.
Plantar fasciitis can be excruciatingly painful, but with the proper treatment, you will get back to living having an enriched quality of life, pain-free of course.
Step Forward USA manufactures state-of-the-art proprioceptive insoles which are distributed to many countries across the globe.
For foot problems, our orthotics offer relief as well as helping with problems related to misalignment of the feet, including posture (ankles, hips, knees, neck, and back). Some common foot problems they can help with are Bunions, Plantar Fasciitis, Hammertoes, and many more.
Learn more about our foot correctors here.