Arch Support For Plantar Fasciitis
By Fadel Taazieh, PT, DPT
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The quick answer, plantar fasciitis is caused by excessive stress and aggravation of the connective tissue that stretches from the heel bone to the ball of the foot called the plantar fascia. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, every step can become painful and a cycle of pain and overtightening, tearing, and inflammation can set in, causing plantar fasciitis.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
Symptoms can vary, but the main complaint from people with this condition is pain and stiffness in the heel and sometimes near the foot’s middle bottom. The pain can be a sharp, burning sensation and is usually the worst in the morning or after long periods of sitting, standing, or walking. Other symptoms include swelling and tenderness on the bottom of the foot from the top of the plantar fascia down to the heel’s bottom.
What Are Potential Causes of Plantar Fasciitis?
Causes are also varied, and there are several risk factors. These are listed below:
- Age: Plantar fasciitis is most common in active people between the ages of 40-70.
- Foot Mechanics: If you have an abnormal pattern of walking, weak feet or ankles, are flat-footed, or have an unusually high arch, you will also be more prone to developing plantar fasciitis.
- Poor quality shoes: Wearing poor quality shoes such as shoes with improper or insufficient arch support is another cause of plantar fasciitis.
- Tightness: An Achilles tendon or calf muscles that are too tight can be another cause.
- Obesity: Or a sudden increase in weight can also cause plantar fasciitis because the extra weight puts added stress on the plantar fascia.
- High-stress activities: A sudden increase in physical activity, such as jogging and ongoing high-stress activities such as long-distance running and ballet dancing, can also cause this condition.
- Disease: Certain diseases such as arthritis can cause plantar fasciitis.
What Are Best Arch Supports for Plantar Fasciitis
Orthotic insoles can decrease the pain and discomfort caused by plantar fasciitis by minimizing the stress and stretching of the plantar fascia that occurs when you stand or walk. For example, if you are suffering from heel pain related to an abnormal inward motion of the foot (pronation), an orthotic insole with arch support will eliminate the excessive pronation and the stress on the plantar fascia.
Orthotic insoles with a deep heel seat help absorb shocks because they have a cupping effect on the soft tissues around the heel, making the soft tissues more effective at cushioning the heel bone. As a result, orthotic insoles and shoes with good shock absorption help reduce the heel’s impacts and pressure.
Two Main Types of Arch Support
When determining the best arch support for plantar fasciitis, there are many things to consider. There are two main types of arch support: custom-made orthotic insoles and standard orthotic insoles. Custom-made orthotic insoles are considerably more expensive than standard orthotics. When determining the best arch support for plantar fasciitis, both price and function are important factors to consider. It might be wise to try nonprescription orthotic insoles in many less costly instances before investing in more expensive custom-made arch support.
Arch Support Fit and Use
Size definitely matters when choosing the best arch support for plantar fasciitis. It can be challenging to find a type of insole that perfectly fits your foot’s sole and various types of shoes. Knowing when to buy the next size up and how to trim effectively are vital bits of information.
Very often (even when you fit very carefully), your brand new insoles will feel a bit strange. This can lead to disappointment and the premature return of the product. To avoid this problem, it is important to choose carefully at the outset. When you have made your choice and purchased a product, be sure to give it a chance once you have it in place. It can take a few days for misaligned ligaments and muscles to become accustomed to correction.
To schedule an appointment with a JOI Foot and Ankle Orthopedic Specialist, please call JOI-2000, schedule online, or click the link below.