The simple thought of plantar fasciitis will make even the hardiest of sports enthusiasts cringe. Not only does it sound really scary, the amount of wrath that it pours on the heels can stop you right on your tracks. It is one of those conditions that can turn your world upside down pretty fast.
In the world of endurance and athletics, plantar fasciitis is a common discussion topic. However, the average non-athletic people are also as affected, yet this topic is not discussed as much in their circles. Well, to get us started on what this condition is and what makes it so dreadful, we will dispel some myths.
What Exactly Is Plantar Fasciitis?
This is excruciating pain that is caused by excessive strain on the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the broad connective tissue at the base of the foot that connects the heel and the toes. This is the tissue that helps transition the foot into propulsion in the gait cycle. When this tissue is strained, the inflammation causes pain. It mostly starts as mild heel pain and can grow to full blown immobilization if left unchecked.
Common Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
At first, you may feel a discomfort or fatigue on your feet’s soles. As the condition progresses, the discomfort turns to pain. It is mostly manifested when one resumes activity after a period of rest such as in the morning when you wake up or standing after seating for too long.
Can Plantar Fasciitis Be Treated
That is an emphatic yes! That is the sweetest news; you can have your feet treated so that you can go on with your normal activities comfortably. When treated, especially when the condition is in its early stages, the symptoms disappear within a year. 80% of the patients have reported that they no longer experience the symptoms after receiving a combination of therapies. These treatment options include:
• Feet stretching exercises
• Ice packs on the affected areas
• Applying anti-inflammatory creams on the affected area
• Wearing comfortable shoes
• Using corrective, and supportive orthotic inserts
• Corticosteroid injections to curb inflammation
• Using night splints to keep the plantar fascia stretched out
• Cryosurgery (in severe conditions)
In most cases, plantar fascia is hurt by musculoskeletal imbalance. While other treatment options such as anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections and surgery only treat the symptoms of the condition, orthotic inserts and comfortable footwear treat the condition itself.
Orthotic Shoe Inserts as the Best Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
Apart from being one of the cheaper, less invasive treatment options for plantar fasciitis, orthotic inserts are also the most effective. Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis are designed to realign the foot musculoskeletal structure as well as offer arch support. Consequently, the stress on the plantar fascia is relieved, thereby reducing strain and inflammation.
There are differing types, shapes and sizes of orthotic inserts. Each type is made for a specific activity. Strenuous activities such as running and walking require an insert with soft cushioning encasing a firm shell for good arch support and excellent biomechanical control. Orthotic inserts for casual activities are also equally supportive and effective though cheaper. You will also find that insoles for flat feet are quite different from those of people with high arches.
Pointers When Picking the Right Orthotic Insert
There are a few considerations to keep in mind when picking the perfect orthotic shoe inserts for effective treatment of plantar fasciitis. Here are the basics.
In order for the orthotic to help provide proper arch support and reduce tension on the plantar fascia, the insert should closely conform to the foot arch. Loosely fitting orthotics fail to offer the much needed support, and may actually cause more problems.
The insert should be soft to touch but very firm. In most cases, the best orthotic inserts are made of plastic encased in very soft cushioning. Gel inserts are equally effective. They can be full length or half depending on personal preferences. These materials help absorb shock when the foot strikes the floor, which in turn alleviates the pressure from the fascia.
The Custom Insert
A majority of those who are prone to plantar fasciitis have a preceding musculoskeletal issue. Some have supination, pronation, high arches or flat feet, all of which make it easy to strain the plantar fascia. It is therefore advisable to see a doctor before purchasing a pair of orthotics. If you are not aware of your condition, the wrong insert can make your condition worse. Therefore, be sure to pick a corrective insert depending on your condition.
The internet today is a rich resource for all health conditions such as high or fallen arches, as well as other feet musculoskeletal issues. You can search around for more tips on how to relieve the pain caused by plantar fasciitis and how to pick the right orthotics. It is always good to be adequately informed.