BY ARIELA TEJADA / Oct 30, 2019
Plantar Fasciitis is a common foot condition that is known for the tremendous foot pain it causes, most often occurring when a person gets out of bed in the morning. It is widely referred to as joggers’ heel, and tennis heel, but is sometimes miscommunicated as heel spurs. Plantar fasciitis occurs in approximately 10% of the US population and this number is probably conservative as many people find solutions to treat it on their own without seeking medical advice. And because its symptoms can often be minimized without too much medical intervention, a few lifestyle changes such as wearing the best shoes for plantar fasciitis can make the condition manageable.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot supporting the arch, connecting the heel area to the toes. This band of fibers is also made up of collagen, that over time and due to years of activity, degenerates and tears causing it to become irritated, inflamed and stiff. The area under the heel is usually the place where the most pain is experienced.
There is no underlying cause to developing plantar fasciitis, however your risk to developing it may be greater if you fall into one of the categories below:
- If you are overweight
- If you have a very high arch
- If you recently started a new physical regimen or intensified a current activity
- If you have difficulty flexing your feet and bringing your toes upwards due to stiff calf muscles
- If you engage in physical activities that use repetitive motion such as running
- If you wear inappropriate footwear
- If you are above 40 years old and active
- If you have a certain disease such as Arthritis that can cause plantar fasciitis
What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis are easy to identify and can include any of the following in the heel area or along the longitudinal arch:
- Sharp pain
- Burning sensation
These symptoms are most prominent when your foot first steps on the ground after a period of rest, such as a night’s sleep or prolonged sitting.
How can I minimize Plantar Fasciitis pain?
The encouraging aspect of having plantar fasciitis is that you can live with it and be pain free! As the foot experts, below are our recommendations that will have you up and running in no time.
One of the first and most effective treatment options doctors suggest is wearing the best shoes for plantar fasciitis. Footwear can be directly related to foot pain and plantar fasciitis which means that the right footwear can greatly affect your pain level as well as your speed of recovery. But what exactly is the right footwear? To answer that question, we’ve made a list of what to look for in a shoe if you suffer from plantar fasciitis. One such brand that specializes in designing the best shoes for plantar fasciitis is Orthofeet.
- Arch support - Shoes with anatomical arch support located at the correct position under the arch helps relieve pain by supporting the foot, reducing overpronation, and thus reducing the tension on the fascia.
- A deep heel cup - The right heel cup should hug your heel to protect the heel bone and control pronation and supination.
- Customizable cushioning – Make sure the shoes have an excellent cushioning system to absorb the impact when the heel hits the ground. Memory foam or other materials that conform to the contours of the foot offer the best comfort.
- Flexibility -The best plantar fasciitis shoes should bend gradually at the ball-of-foot and offer some resistance. Shoes that are either too stiff or too unstructured cannot protect the feet. To test the shoes, trying twisting and bending them.
- Ergonomic sole - Plantar fasciitis shoes should be designed with an ergonomic sole that propels the foot forward, facilitating foot motion to minimize impact.
- Roomy toe box – More often than not, the shoes we buy are too small and too tight for our feet. A wide toe box design ensures our toes are not cramped that can exacerbate foot pain.
- Extra depth design – Shoes with extra depth can accommodate custom orthotics.
So where can you find the best shoes for plantar fasciitis? A good place to start is by looking at Orthofeet’s selection of plantar fasciitis shoes. Orthofeet plantar fasciitis shoes are designed with the unique Ortho-Cushion System™ engineered with built-in orthotic insoles to support and cushion the feet. The shoes have been proven to help reduce pain, promote comfort and allow sufferers to continue being active all day. To view Orthofeet’s shoes for plantar fasciitis and learn about the technology, click here.
Stretching – it is highly recommended to perform daily stretches if you have plantar fasciitis. Loosening the stiff calf and feet muscles will help ease the pain in the heel and along the bottom of the foot.
Orthotics – Supporting the arch along the plantar fascia can minimize the stress and stretching, mitigate the pain and discomfort caused by plantar fasciitis.
Anti-inflammatory – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as aspirin, and ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and decrease pain. Icing the sore area is another alternative. Icing should be performed for at least 15 minutes following stretching.