Do orthotics help with plantar fasciitis? The short answer… YES!
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory condition of the connective tissue that joins the heel bone (calcaneus) to the forefoot (the metatarsal heads). When his connective tissue is placed under a lot of stress is can become irritated with inflammation and even tiny micro-tears. This generally manifests as pain in the heel as the weakest point of the plantar fascia is typically where it connects to the heel bone.
- Pain in the heel when standing and walking
- Pain that increases after a period of rest
- Stiffness and pain on the bottom surface of the foot
How do orthotics help alleviate Plantar Fasciitis?
A properly fit custom orthotic can act as a brace for the foot. When we weight bear our foot tends to flatten out. This flattening of the foot lengthens the fascia and can cause unnecessary strain and stress on the connective tissues. By bracing the arch of your foot with an orthotic we can stop your foot from flattening out and give the fascia a chance to heal and mend.
An orthotic device can also be designed with a tight heel cup. This will contain the natural fat pad of your foot under the painful area of the heel. Often times when we stand up this fat pad flattens out and squeezes to the sides of the foot. By keeping this fat pad contained under the heel we can create our bodies own natural shock absorber.
Orthotics can also be designed with horse-shoe shaped pads or with extra thick soft padding in the heel to offload the painful area of the heel. This can give you some symptom relief as the fascia works to mend and heal.