Custom Orthotics Alleviate Pain of Plantar Fasciitis
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An inflammation of a thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) at the bottom of the foot is called Plantar Fasciitis. The classic symptoms of the plantar fasciitis syndrome are pain and a feeling of stiffness in the bottom of the heel and arch. In addition, the pain can be located at the side of the heel facing the opposite foot. The symptoms are often described as a sharp pain that people experience when they step on a small stone or a nail. The pain often reduces after a few steps, though it may still persist. This pain can also occur when walking after sitting for a prolonged time, such as watching a movie, sitting at work, driving a car, etc.
How does plantar fasciitis syndrome develop
Plantar fasciitis heel pain syndrome can occur via a myriad of causes. Risk factors such as weight gain, foot type (flat feet, high arched feet), a high level of activity, sport overtraining, overuse, improper shoe gear, improper support of the feet, trauma, tightness of muscles, and daily activities can trigger the classic symptoms. Often, there is no single cause, but a culmination of several risk factors. It is imperative to address all of these factors to treat this condition successfully.
How can custom orthotics help?
Switching shoe gear to a well supportive running shoe and wearing prescription custom orthotics can be effective. Reducing your level of activity also may help. When you are off your feet the injury is healing, it’s getting better. When you are standing with inadequate foot support, it is getting injured. A well fitted custom orthotics can support your foot well enough to virtually eliminate the injury that is occurring while standing and walking.
What to expect at the foot care medical office
Your foot care professional will perform a thorough examination and history of your condition. X-rays may be taken to assess the status of the heel bone (calcaneus) and to check for other findings such as arthritis, foreign objects, fractures, etc. There are numerous treatment options, and the treatment protocol will very according to the severity of the patient’s symptoms.
Treatment options can include oral anti-inflammatory medications, heel cushions, heel cups, physical therapy, stretching exercises, taping /trapping of the foot, over-the counter inserts, custom orthotics, injections, soft tissue wraps, weight loss, change of shoes, casting, night splints and surgery. Each option must be tailored to the unique needs and characteristics of each patient.
What can you do to prevent plantar fasciitis from happening
Controlling body weight, wearing supportive shoes and having custom orthotics as additional support in your shoes can decrease the chance of development or recurrence of plantar fasciitis. Additionally, stretching the Achilles tendon and hamstring and maintaining flexibility are extremely important in preventing recurrence of the problem. Most importantly, pain and discomfort are your body’s signals that a problem exists. Prompt attention and treatment can often result in significant relief with the avoidance of complications.