A COMMON QUESTION: CAN I USE ORTHOTICS FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS?
There are different ways to approach the treatment of plantar fasciitis, and orthotic treatment is definitely a very reliable option for plantar fasciitis. However, they must be designed very accurately with the specific foot problem in mind.
Many patients have already tried plantar fasciitis inserts by the time they arrive at our clinic, but the shape of the device or the material that the orthotics have been made from is not ideal. Some patients have even tried several pairs from different practitioners to try treating plantar fasciitis.
PLANTAR FASCIITIS INSERTS
GENERIC DEVICES ARE NOT APPROPRIATE
It is unlikely that patients will respond well to orthotic insoles if they have been purchased from a shop. Generic devices are not tailored for the individual’s feet usually create pressure in the wrong areas, and can sometimes cause more problems in other parts of the foot, creating more pain with the plantar fasciitis.
THE RIGHT MATERIAL
Successful orthotics need to be made from the right material. Patients with P.F need control, not cushioning (even though cushioning feels good against the heel). Control is achieved through the use of firm materials that are used in prescription devices. Orthotics made from firm materials are not uncomfortable (providing they have been designed well) and do not feel hard against the foot because they are handcrafted around the shape of the patient’s foot mould, and hence they apply pressure in the right places. Furthermore, padding is applied to the firm material which means that the custom inserts will always be comfortable.
Designed by the Experts
Patients using shoe inserts that have been designed by the podiatrists at Sydney Heel Pain Clinic report extreme comfort and a feeling that they are hardly aware of the presence of the orthotics inside their shoes.
INSERTS FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS
ACHIEVING THE RIGHT SHAPE
Orthotics for plantar fasciitis need to be the perfect shape in order to support the fascia and provide comfort. This can be achieved by the podiatrist taking a very accurate foot mold.
At Sydney Heel Pain Clinic, the podiatrists use the most up-to-date technology: a 3D digital foot scanner, accurate to 0.1mm. Other techniques, which are much older, include plaster of Paris casts and foot foam boxes. These are no longer used at Sydney Heel Pain Clinic.
PLANTAR FASCIITIS ORTHOTICS
THEY MUST FIT IN THE SHOE!
If the orthotics for plantar fasciitis are too big and bulky then the patient will never want to wear them. They have to be designed after careful consideration of the patient’s footwear and lifestyle. Far too often, we see new patients presenting to the clinic who are unhappy with their existing orthotics as they are too long or too thick to fit into their shoes.
Streamlined Orthotics for Comfort & Style
Many of our patients are female, and hence the orthotics for plantar fasciitis must be streamlined. Likewise, for men with stylish shoes, orthotics for plantar fasciitis should be short and tailored to their footwear.
For running shoes or walking boots and the like, the orthotics can be full length will full padding as there is plenty of room inside the shoe after removing the original liner.
It is also beneficial for the patient if we request a heel aperture be incorporated into the orthotics for plantar fasciitis. A heel aperture is a circular section of the orthotic that is drilled out in the base of the heel area. After the firm material has been drilled out it is packed with foam and covered. This provides extra comfort and cushioning for patients with heel pain and plantar fasciitis.
Get in Touch
For more information from our clinic for sports injuries about orthotics for plantar fasciitis, general heel pain treatment, achilles tendonitis treatments or the treatment of heel spurs, please call the clinic on 93883322 or click here to send us an email.
Written by Karl Lockett
SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS PLANTAR FASCIITIS?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory heel pain condition. It is essentially the inflammation of the plantar fascia: the thick band of tissue that runs along the base of the foot, from the base of the heel bone to the base of the toes. When the plantar fascia becomes irritated and inflamed, the patient feels pain in the heel, often described as a stone or a pebble in the shoe. The pain is usually worse in the mornings when getting out of bed, or when standing up after being seated for long periods of time.
WHAT CAUSES PLANTAR FASCIITIS?
There is no one single cause of the condition. There are a number of factors that contribute to the development of P.F. In general, increased load on the plantar fascia is what causes it to become pathological; this load can come from one or more factors.
Some common contributing factors:
- Tight calf muscles (these patients may also be suffering with Achilles tendon pathology)
- Inappropriate footwear (especially very soft shoes or thongs/flip flops)
- Flat feet or high arches (pes planus, pes cavus)
- Increased body weight
- Biomechanical issues with the patient’s gait
- Sudden increase or change in physical activity.
Since the cause of the condition is multifactorial so is the plantar fasciitis treatment, which depends largely on the patient’s physiological factors, lifestyle factors, the severity and duration of the pain.
IS A HEEL SPUR THE SAME AS PLANTAR FASCIITIS?
Heel spurs may be detected on x-ray, however they are not the same as P.F, nor are they usually the cause of the patient’s heel pain. Heel spurs are generally not the problem. Inflammation within the plantar fascia around the spur itself is what causes bad plantar fasciitis pain.