Treatment of plantar fasciitis with custom orthotics typically involves wearing custom-made inserts that provide support and cushioning to the plantar fascia and help distribute weight evenly across the foot. Custom orthotics can be used to treat most foot conditions, but these orthotics are designed to alleviate the stress on the plantar fascia and help reduce inflammation and pain.
Although orthotics can help plantar fasciitis, sometimes the condition is due to an underlying medical issue. It is always suggested to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan on how to treat plantar fasciitis.
In some cases, physical therapy and stretching exercises are recommended in conjunction with wearing custom orthotics to help improve foot and ankle strength and flexibility.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is a common condition characterized by pain in the heel and bottom of the foot, caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of fibrous tissue that runs along the sole. The condition can cause sharp pain, primarily upon the first steps in the morning or after sitting for long periods.
The legs and feet will often feel very tight and uncomfortable before moving around. Risk factors for plantar fasciitis include having a high body mass index, being on your feet for long periods, and having a job that requires a lot of walking or standing.
How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis with Custom Orthotics
An orthotic is a medical device intended to provide support and cushioning to your feet. Often orthotics are purchased to correct foot conditions or relieve back pain or leg pain but anyone can wear them. They have been proven to improve balance and correct gait and posture. In doing so, they prevent problems from developing.
Custom orthotics work by taking a 3D scan or impression of your feet, and designing an orthotic specifically for you and your foot problems, unlike store-bought alternatives intended to fit as many feet as possible. One way orthotics can help is by controlling excessive pronation, the inward rolling of the foot, holding the foot in place, and thus avoiding further strain of the fascia.
Many foot problems like over-pronation can occur over time, most of them due to improper alignment, poor gait, or an injury. However, overuse injuries can happen just by walking or running without enough rest. Plantar fasciitis is one example of an overuse injury.
Custom Orthotics are one of the first treatment options suggested by physical therapists and foot specialists alike when dealing with plantar fasciitis because they can give you support where you need it, be it the arches, heel, or near the metatarsals. They will distribute your weight evenly across your foot, reducing pain and inflammation in the foot and leading to a better quality of life overall.
Other Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis
Although many times custom orthotics are the best course of action to treat plantar fasciitis, there are many ways to relieve some of your pain due to plantar fasciitis and several can be done from the comfort of your home. Many physical therapists or other healthcare professionals, such as podiatrists, will refer to a mixture of the remedies below. Some other treatments for plantar fasciitis may include
Rest Your Feet
Plantar fasciitis is often an overuse injury and the pain you feel on the bottom of your feet may be reduced by just sitting down and taking a break. It is suggested to elevate the legs for the best results. The pain will return if you are still for a long time, for example, the pain is worst in the morning immediately after sleeping, but taking a few minutes to sit and rest your feet during a busy day will pay off significantly in the long run.
As a whole, we overwork ourselves and our feet feel the brunt of the work. Reducing physical activities and avoiding high-impact activities, such as running and jumping, that put stress on your feet will also help.
Ice the Area
It’s no secret that icing an injury can help with pain, but some do not know that this is because it reduces swelling. The main cause of plantar fasciitis is inflammation in the plantar fascia ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot. Icing the area in 15-20 minute intervals, the blood vessels will constrict, and allow significant pain reduction.
Take Over-the-counter Pain Medication
Although your doctor may be able to prescribe you medication if the pain is intense, using over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, will usually suffice to reduce pain. Usually, once you take one of these medicines, you will reduce some of the stiffness that occurs with overuse injuries, and treating plantar fasciitis will be less painful.
Stretching out the plantar fascia will return some of its elasticity, reducing some of the tightness you feel in the bottom of your foot. Gentle stretching exercises can help alleviate pain and promote healing.
Some examples of stretching exercises that help plantar fasciitis pain are heel raises, calf stretches, and towel stretches. You can find more information on plantar fasciitis stretches here.
A physical therapist will likely prescribe a mixture of these treatments, but they will work with you to develop a routine that works for you. Physical therapy is suggested to help most foot conditions, as they can customize a treatment plan to avoid worsening the issue.
For example, massages are another treatment often suggested by physical therapists, and they can teach you the best way to massage your feet and legs specifically for plantar fasciitis or any other foot or leg condition you are suffering from.
Visiting a physical therapist is one of the best things you can do for yourself. In most instances, they can teach you stretches that are not commonly found in internet searches, and even create their own care plan to aid in the treatment of foot conditions.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis with Custom Orthotics
Although all of the treatment options above will help with plantar fasciitis, the majority of them take time and effort to remember them. However, once you have broken in your custom orthotics, using them is as simple as slipping on your shoes, and you can go about your day as normal without all the pain. Wearing custom orthotics quickly becomes a normal part of your day without having to fit any extra work into your schedule.
You may be wondering about reliable places to get custom orthotics. Urthotics is a USA-based company specializing in manufacturing custom orthotics for many foot conditions, including plantar fasciitis. With over 25 years of experience, you can trust our team to get you the care and support you deserve for your feet.
Our priority is to get you back to doing what you love by taking away all the pain you have been dealing with. You can take our free analysis to help narrow down what type of custom orthotic is best for you and your lifestyle.
Give us a call or leave your information. We can answer any questions you may have or help you get started on ordering your first pair of custom orthotics to treat your plantar fasciitis today!