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Plantar Fasciitis and Shoes


There is a strong correlation between footwear and foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis. Podiatrist's warn that ill fitting or badly designed shoes are a major cause of plantar fasciitis and related injuries. Wearing the most appropriate types of foot wear will help prevent the onset of such conditions and help keep your feet healthy and strong.

Badly designed or badly fitting shoes do not offer the required amount of support around the arch and heel which leads to excess strain on the feet during normal activity. Shoes must have an adequate amount of structural support around the mid foot, arch and heel areas to help keep the feet within the most natural cycle of movement during normal activity. Where this support is missing, extra strain will be felt around the middle centre of the foot, heel and other areas in and around the feet which over an extended period of time can develop into conditions such as plantar fasciitis.

The right amount of cushioning in shoes is also important (especially during exercise) as it will help absorb impact and shocks from activities like running and walking. Without the right level of cushioning you may become more prone to injuries around the foot as well as sprains, strains and swelling caused by the extra stress on the feet.

Recently shoes have come to market that are designed to help people who suffer from plantar fasciitis. These shoes claim to be specially manufactured to relieve the strain on the feet that is the major cause of the condition. Although good in their own way, there are a number of disadvantages to them that should be considered. Firstly these types of shoes are only designed to treat plantar fasciitis and not any other related conditions meaning there are a single purpose product for simple treatment only. Because of the limiting nature of product there are only a select small number of manufacturers who produce these types of shoes and they can charge in excess of £200 for a single pair without even a firm guarantee of successful treatment.

A far more effect form of treatment is the long established use of orthotic shoe inserts. These inserts are specially designed to control the contour of the feet in their resting position which reduces stress on the tissues and ligaments within the feet. A variety of different types and styles are also available which can be used in any shoe including high heels and sports boots. Some also have the added advantage of providing extra padding and cushioning to the feet which can help prevent long-term strain and offer some protection against injury. As the use of orthotics has been a natural form of treatment for some time now there is a large amount of variety of manufacturers and styles and types to choice from. This has also mean that they offer more value for money plantar fasciitis shoes and can also be used for other related conditions such as flat feet, fallen arches and over or under suppination. Websites like www.drfoot.co.uk have large catalogues of insoles that fit the need for a variety of different purposes and people. For example sports insoles can be used by an active person, someone looking for more comfort may find the gel insoles particularly useful and those will more heel pain may be able to use half size pro insoles to offer real relief in short there is an insole available for anyone who needs one.

 

Plantar Fasciitis and Shoes

Causes of Heel Pain

  • The most common cause of heel pain is over pronation, this is when your foot rotates in too much as you walk. You really need to treat the underlying cause of the heel pain as soon as possible to prevent any further damage to the plantar fascia. View the Dr Foot Sport Insoles which are for sport shoes or the Dr Foot Pro Insoles for everyday shoes.
  • Excessive load on the foot from obesity is a major cause of plantar fasciitis. Which is why this condition is common in middle aged and over weight adults.
  • A sudden increase in weight, such as pregnancy can also lead to plantar fascitis. In such cases a soft comfortable heel cushion works wonders, view the product here
  • A sudden increase in walking or a sporting activity can also be a contributing factor. A classic example of when this condition can develop is when a post man has returned to work after a period away from the job.
  • Tight plantar fascia (this is often caused by tight calf muscles). One of the most effective methods of stretching the fascia to speed up recovery is by using a unique product called the FXT night splint which allows you to sleep comfortably while gently stretching out the plantar fascia. View the product here
  • Excessive flattening of the arch on weight bearing i.e. flat feet. People with flat feet are more at risk of developing this condition, a simple orthotic in the shoe can prevent and treat heel pain for people with flat feet. View product here
  • Biomechanical problems (walking abnormalities) is a major cause of plantar fasciitis.
  • Different types of arthritis can also lead to this condition, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Treatments for Heel Pain

  • Orthotics- One of the most effective treatment options. View the Dr Foot Pro Insoles.

  • Silicone Heel Cups- Treats morning heel pain and provides excellent support and pain relief. This product combines a pressure relieving heel spur cavity with a well designed heel cup.
  • Reusable Hot and Cold Gel Packs- Proven therapy for plantar fasciitis by alternating application of hot and cold, coupled with massage, works wonders to relieve pain, reduce swelling and promote healing. Use ice pack in the morning and heat pack in the evening.
  • Plantar Fascia Night Splints - Immobilizes and stretches fascia and can be effective if used for several weeks. It holds the foot and toes in a flexed position throughout the night, stretching the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon to relieve the pain of plantar fasciitis. Several scientific studies of night time splints report complete relief after 4-12 weeks of wear.
  • Stretching exercises for plantar fascia and Achilles tendon - Can provide effective results if combined with other treatment options.(click here to view recommended exercises)
  • Stretching aids- The Pro Stretch stretches the foot in the proper position to relieve heel pain. One of the most effective treatment options for plantar Fasciitis is stretching. Tightness in the Achilles tendon and the calf muscles increases the prevalence of plantar Fasciitis. This is due to tightening in these muscles, which increases dorsiflexion (upward movement) of the large toe and stretches the plantar fascia causing it to inflame. click here to view product.
  • Ultrasound and Lasers- Found to have little or no benefit.
  • NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs)- These treat the symptoms and provide temporary relief but do not treat the underlying cause.
  • Steroid/local anesthetic injection- Not one of our preferred treatment options, click here to view image.
  • Surgery- 'Open' or endoscopic plantar fascia release. No good evidence of effectiveness and complications include increased pain, nerve injury, fascial rupture and infection.
  • Heel Protector - Shock Absorption and Ankle Support in one lightweight unit! The Heel Protector is a dynamic and revolutionary new combination of Heel Cups shock absorption technology and the comfort and stability of a lightweight neoprene ankle support. View Here

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"I love the Dr Foot Sports Insoles! I am an avid runner, with over-pronation and a family history of foot and leg pain. The Dr Foot Sports Insoles make running possible for me. I've tried many other insoles and none of them work as well as Dr Foot. I'm currently training for my second marathon, and my Dr. Foot Sports Insoles are protecting me from injury. Thank you!"

Miss Smith Michigan, USA