As one of the most common causes of heel pain in older adults, Plantar fasciitis is a painful ailment caused when the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that attaches the heel bone to the toes, becomes inflamed. It can also occur among younger individuals that are constantly on their feet, but despite the discomfort, it is normally self-treatable and easy to diagnose. With a few simple fixes to your shoes, effective treatment for plantar fasciitis should resolve the pain in a few days to a few weeks.
You can also be predisposed to this condition if you have high arches, arches that collapse or allow your foot to roll inward when you walk, are overweight, have ill-fitting shoes, or have inflexible calf muscles. Any of these minor conformation faults could cause the arch-supporting ligament in your foot to become strained or eventually tear. It is these small tears that lead to swelling and pain, but not to worry, insole treatment for plantar fasciitis is the best and easiest option for this ailment.
The most effective treatment for plantar fasciitis is through the use insole orthotics. These include heel cushions, pads, or pain relieving inserts that all easily slip into the shoe. Although there are a few additional things you can do to supplement the insole treatment, it is by far the most effective option because it relieves the pain at the source— your heel.
The benefits of these insoles include increased shock absorption for every step, jump, or run that you take, as well as added support and cushioning on the painful foot. Specially designed heel cushions help by dispersing the weight of your body around your foot so that it is not entirely focused on the strained arch ligament.
You also have the option of purchasing a full length orthotic that runs the entire length of your foot from heel to toe. This will allow shock absorption everywhere, not just at the heel.
Materials for these insoles can range from gels to polyethylene foams of varying densities and thicknesses. Choosing one is really a matter of personal preference.
Insoles treatment for plantar fasciitis can be both commercially bought or custom-made, but in general, products you can find at your drug store are much more budget friendly and almost as, if not equally, effective. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and thicknesses to ensure you can find the perfect fit for your foot. Some companies even offer a mat and computer system at select stores that will allow you to enter your symptoms, shoe preferences, and measure the size of your foot for the perfect match.
To supplement and increase the efficacy of insoles, it is important to incorporate a few exercises to the heel area to encourage healing. One plantar fasciitis exercise is to lean against a wall with your heel on the ground, and then gradually lean forward (keeping your heel on the ground) until your knee touches the wall or as far as you can go depending on your flexibility. You can also work on stretching your heel cord on small steps.
What if it Recurs?
Plantar fasciitis may be irritating and painful, but with the use of insole orthotics and stretching exercises, the pain and inflammation should disappear in a matter of a week or two. Some patients always wear some type of shoe insert to absorb shock and cushion the heel, so if the ailment becomes a recurring problem, make sure to experiment with this possibility.