What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the ligament that spans across the entire length of the foot becomes inflamed. This ligament, called the plantar fascia, connects the heel bone to the base of your toes.
Patients with plantar fasciitis experience foot pain, particularly near the heel. This pain will generally worsen with walking and can also be induced by extended periods of standing.
Plantar fasciitis can be triggered by a number of different issues. One of the most common reasons is overpronation which causes collapsing of the arch and flattening of the foot. With overpronation, the ankle rolls inwards and downwards with each step you take.
How do we treat plantar fasciitis?
To treat plantar fasciitis, it is key to determine what is causing the foot to roll in. It may a physiological deformity that facilitates misalignment of the foot. In this case, we could prescribe an orthotic made to support the arch.
Plantar fasciitis may also be due to shoes that do not adequately support the feet. Here, we would work towards finding a more suitable option that aligns with your everyday practices.
Furthermore, plantar fascia inflammation can be linked to tight muscles located in the calves and/or feet. For these patients, we would employ exercises aimed at relaxing those tense muscles, combine them with a proper orthotic, and recommend an appropriate shoe.
How orthotics help with plantar fasciitis
Orthotics are good for treating plantar fasciitis because they address the foot deformity that is causing strain on the plantar fascia. They help by distributing the pressure under your feet more evenly and preventing inwards rotation of the ankle and foot. Based on your specific condition, your podiatrist may prescribe off-the-shelf or custom orthotics.
If you, however, have additional factors (such as tight muscles) that may be contributing to the problem, regular stretching may be needed to supplement your insoles.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to comment below!