Plantar fasciitis can be a real pain in the arch! If you're tired of wincing when you climb out of bed in the morning, and if you're ready to walk without pain again, then it's time to look into orthotics as an option. Orthotics are basically inserts that you put inside your shoes to alter the way your shoes fit and the way your foot moves as you walk. Here's a closer look at how orthotics work to help heal plantar fasciitis.
What kind of orthotics do you need?
Most people can get by with a pair of orthotics from the pharmacy, provided they know which type to buy. For plantar fasciitis, you need orthotics with a lot of arch support. You really want the part of the orthotic under the arch to be firm. The rest of the orthotic should be softer and squishier. Stay away from orthotics that have a lot of padding in the heel or a lot up front by the toes. These have their purpose, but they are not for plantar fasciitis. Make sure you buy orthotics that you can trim to fit inside your shoes for customization.
How do orthotics help heal plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue in the arch of your foot. Whenever you take a step, this connective tissue stretches and then contracts. Over time, if you step and jump too much, this tissue can get sore and swollen — this is plantar fasciitis. Orthotics with arch support reduce the amount that your plantar fascia stretches and contracts with every step. This gives your plantar fascia a break so it can finally heal. Orthotics won't fix your problem over night, but your plantar fascia should feel a lot better within a couple of weeks.
How do you use and wear orthotics?
When you get your orthotics home, trim them to fit them inside your shoes. (The easiest way to do this is to trace your shoe onto the orthotic, and then use scissors to cut just inside the outline.) Put the orthotics inside your shoes, and then wear them daily. At first, put them on straight away when you get out of bed. Over time, as your pain eases, you can work towards only wearing the orthotics when you're out and about or working.
Orthotics can be a really good treatment and management solution for plantar fasciitis. Reach out to a orthopedist for more information.