We field a lot of questions about orthotics and heel pain from plantar fasciitis. Since plantar fasciitis is so common, there’s a lot of information out there swirling around. You may have heard from friends who had custom orthotics recommended by their doctor, and other friends who received completely different treatment advice.
So, the all-important question: do orthotics really work for plantar fasciitis? The good news is that, yes, they can and often do! However, they may or may not be the most appropriate treatment for every situation. There’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all foot care, and the best strategy for your plantar fasciitis may not be the same as someone else’s.
To explain further, let’s take a step back and see what orthotics are, and what they’re designed to do. Think, for a moment, about eyeglasses or contacts. These tools don’t “fix” your eyes, but because of the way they bend the path of light as it reaches your eyeballs, they allow you to see much more clearly.
Orthotics operate under a similar principle. Every foot is different, and yours may have some structural or mechanical issues that can easily lead to heel pain—for example, flat feet, high arches, or a tendency to roll your foot when you walk. Custom orthotics are tools designed to accommodate those flaws so that they don’t cause pain anymore. For example, custom inserts can divert pressure away from your strained, inflamed heel. Like a glasses prescription, they are custom-fit to your precise foot shape, and are built to provide any additional support, cushioning, shock absorption, and even motion stabilization that may be needed.
As you can see, if your case of plantar fasciitis is at least partially caused by problems with your foot structure, custom orthotics are often one of the best and most effective corrective remedies out there. However, as we said, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment approach. The exact cause of your plantar fasciitis may have little to do with foot structure, and more to do with the shoes you’re wearing, your daily activities, or other factors. In such cases, we may recommend different treatment approaches and help you eliminate your plantar fasciitis pain without orthotics or inserts.It’s great to get information from friends and family, but if chronic is intruding on your life, the best course of action is to get an objective, unbiased evaluation from a foot and ankle professional who has your best interests at heart. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sanjay Patel at his office in Milford, CT or Hamden, CT, please give us a call today at (203) 876-7736.