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Plantar Fasciitis

Pedors Shoes and Orthotics for the treatment of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is the most common term used to denote mechanically induced heel pain. 

It is thought that 70-75 % of all heel complaints are due to mechanical reasons. Plantar fasciitis symptoms typically  often start as a dull ache on the inside part of the heel can develop into a sharp pain once you put weight on the foot first thing in the morning which then seems to improve after a period of walking. It’s sometimes described as “first step pain”. Although it can improve after an initial warm up, it can become worse after prolonged or vigorous activity. Often after a period of rest where there is no weight born by the foot, a person can experience a “re-start” pain when they stand.

What is plantar fasciitis?

The fascia is the thick connective tissue which supports the arch on the bottom of the foot. It runs from the heel bone forward to the heads of the metatarsal bones (the bone between each toe and the bones of the mid foot.

Fasciitis means the inflamed condition of the fascia on the plantar surface that is the sole or bottom of the foot

What causes plantar fasciitis? 

There are many causes of plantar fasciitis but all relate to any condition that creates an abnormal force pulling on the plantar fascia and the medial (inside) intrinsic foot muscles attached to the heel. These abnormal forces are often a result of a loss of arch support as the body ages and the fascia is stretched over the course of the day.

 ummer time plantar fasciitis

The incidence of plantar fasciitis typically peaks mid to late summer and is usually as a result of a prolonged use of shoes with limited or no amount of arch support like flip flops or sandals for example. Prior to the summer “flip flop season” the fascia muscle is used to some degree of arch support found in normal shoes or sneakers. Over the course of the day, because of the lack of arch support, the fascia is stretched continuously and when the body rests at night the fascia contracts considerably as there is no weight bearing. In the morning, once weight is placed on the foot the fascia stretches quickly and violently and induces the heel pain.

Plantar fasciitis treatment

By understanding the cause, often the best treatment for plantar fasciitis can be deduced. If its late summer and you are aged between 30 -60 and you’ve been wearing flip flops or sandals without arch support, chances are that the plantar fasciitis cure  is to stop wearing footwear without arch support.  If on the other hand, this is not likely the cause, then the reason could be weight or age related and a more rigid functional device is required to ensure that the fascia is getting the right amount of support. It is highly recommended that if the condition persists a consultation with a podiatrist, orthotist or pedorthist is advisable.

Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis.

The key criteria for a shoe when dealing with plantar fasciitis is that it offers sufficient arch support.  This support can be built into the initial design of the shoe or, alternatively, the shoe has the ability to fit a custom device often referred to as an orthotic or insert. Extra depth, orthopedic footwear are designed to ensure enough room in the shoe so that a wide range of accommodative or functional devices can be used.

Orthosis, orthotics, orthoses and shoes inserts.

Finding the right device to treat plantar fasciitis may require some professional guidance. You can usually find an orthotist, someone who specializes in making orthotics in most major cities. They usually work in a place called an Orthotic and Prosthetic facility or an O&P lab. Alternatively, your local podiatrist can certainly point you in the right direction if they can’t help you themselves. A Certified Pedorthist is a medical professional who specializes in footwear for foot care. They can usually help with both the device and recommend a pair of shoes to go with it. More information on functional and accommodative orthotics can be found on this website.