If you’re experiencing heel pain, it could be due to a condition known as plantar fasciitis. In the United States, plantar fasciitis contributes to about 1 million outpatient office visits annually. Research suggests that shoe inserts, including custom orthotics, can dramatically reduce symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
If you’re experiencing plantar fasciitis, custom orthotics may help prevent serious pain. David Biss, DPM, is a board-certified podiatrist at Concord Podiatry in Concord and Plymouth, New Hampshire. His team offers a variety of treatments for plantar fasciitis, including custom-fitting orthotics to help relieve your symptoms. Here’s how they can help you.
About plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick tissue that runs from the bottom of your foot to your toes in each foot — your plantar fascia. There’s typically only one symptom you may experience: heel pain. The pain is usually a stabbing pain, and it’s often most noticeable first thing in the morning or after long periods of standing.
Your plantar fascia supports the arch of your foot by absorbing shock when you walk, run, and move. If the tension on the plantar fascia becomes too stressful, small tears occur. Repeated stress can cause inflammation and ultimately lead to plantar fasciitis.
There are certain risk factors associated with the condition. These include:
- Age: People between the ages of 40 and 60 are often at a higher risk
- Exercise: Activity that puts stress on your heel and the attached tissue — such as long-distance running, ballet or dance — may cause early onset plantar fasciitis
- Obesity: Extra weight puts more pressure and stress on your feet
- Foot mechanics and genetics: Abnormal foot patterns, flat feet, or high arches can cause uneven weight distribution
You can modify your activities and lose extra weight to help reduce your symptoms. You also can ask your podiatrist about stretches you can do. Many patients notice a considerable improvement with prescription orthotics. Surgery is an option, but it’s generally a last resort.
How custom orthotics can help with plantar fasciitis
Custom orthotics are designed to support and comfort your feet and even correct foot problems. Orthotics are crafted after your podiatrist evaluates your feet and ankles, and even your gait. Orthotics provide a variety of benefits, including:
Custom-made and designed
Prescription orthotics are custom-designed to fit your feet, meaning there is no other orthotic like it on the market. They work to correct your foot functionally, to relieve pressure on your plantar fascia.
Custom orthotics may come with a higher price tag, but they’re more likely to last. Podiatrists use high-quality technology to ensure long-lasting materials and fit.
Correcting biomechanical problems
After getting used to and wearing your orthotics regularly, your arch can stop overstretching, allowing the soft tissue to heal. In doing so, symptoms of plantar fasciitis should decrease dramatically.
Take control of your heel pain. Contact Concord Podiatry for an appointment today to learn about how custom-designed orthotics can alleviate your plantar fasciitis pain.