Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that causes pain in the heel and arch of the foot. It is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the toes. The plantar fascia helps to support the arch of the foot and absorb shock when walking or running.
Plantar fasciitis is often caused by overuse or repetitive strain on the plantar fascia. It can also be caused by sudden changes in activity level, such as starting a new exercise program or running a marathon. Other risk factors for plantar fasciitis include:
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Tight calf muscles
- Age (plantar fasciitis is more common in people over the age of 40)
There are a number of things you can do to treat plantar fasciitis, including:
- Rest: Avoid activities that make your pain worse.
- Ice: Apply ice to the painful area for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.
- Wear supportive shoes & orthotics: Supportive shoes and orthotics reduce pain in the heel and arch of the foot.
- Stretching: Stretch your calf muscles and plantar fascia several times a day.
- Night splint: A night splint helps to keep your foot in a stretched position, which can help to reduce inflammation.
- Medication: Your doctor may prescribe pain medication or anti-inflammatory medication.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help to improve your flexibility and strength, which can help to reduce pain.
Wearing supportive shoes is important for people with plantar fasciitis because it can help to reduce stress on the plantar fascia and reduce pain. Supportive shoes typically have good arch support and cushioning, which can help to absorb shock and reduce stress on the feet. They may also have a rigid heel counter, which can help keep the foot in a neutral position and prevent excessive pronation.
Here are some of the benefits of wearing supportive shoes for plantar fasciitis:
- Reduced pain: Supportive shoes can help to reduce pain in the heel and arch of the foot.
- Improved posture: Supportive shoes can help to improve posture by keeping the feet in a neutral position.
- Increased stability: Supportive shoes can help to increase stability by providing a firm base for the feet.
- Improved balance: Supportive shoes can help to improve balance by providing support and stability.
- Prevention of injuries: Supportive shoes can help to prevent injuries by providing support and reducing stress on the feet.
- Arch support: Shoes with arch support can help to reduce the stress on the plantar fascia. Look for shoes with an arch support that is made of a rigid material, such as plastic or metal, and it should extend from the heel to the ball of the foot.
- Cushioning: Shoes with cushioning can help to absorb shock and reduce stress on the feet. Look for shoes with cushioning in the heel and forefoot, and it should be made of a soft material, such as foam or gel.
- Rigid heel counter: A rigid heel counter can help to keep the foot in a neutral position and prevent excessive pronation. Look for shoes with a heel counter that is made of a rigid material, such as plastic or metal, and it should extend from the heel to the arch of the foot. Each of our diabetic shoe styles are made with a rigid heel counter.
- Lightweight: Lightweight shoes can help to reduce fatigue and improve comfort. Look for shoes that are made of lightweight materials.
- High Arch Height: Firm support relieves excessive pressure on the ball and heel of your foot, while stabilizing the heel. A high arch height provides a better fit across the length of your arch, helping to distribute weight evening across your foot and cushioning the impact of walking, running, or jumping.
- Medial/Lateral Flange: Help to add support to the medial and lateral arches of the foot, and reduce pronating/supinating by stabilizing the foot within the shoe.
- Offload Arch: Offloading areas of arches can reduce the pain associated with plantar fasciitis by supplying extra cushion to the areas of pain.
If you are unsure about whether or not your symptoms require medical attention, please consult your foot doctor.