The answer for 90 percent of patients suffering from heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis or heel spurs is custom made orthotics. Orthotics are custom prosthetic fabricated inserts that individuals wear in their shoes. Orthotics are worn under the heel and arch of the foot and are used to correct abnormal foot patterns. They improve foot function and reduce excessive stress and strain on the foot as well as other areas of the body. Custom made orthotics provide stability, correct body and joint alignment, and allow for optimal foot biomechanics throughout a person’s walking or running pattern. Abnormal function and lack of support are the leading sources of strain and irritation of the plantar fascia and can cause the formation of heel spurs.
Custom made orthotics are made from a plaster cast or mold after a full biomechanical examination conducted by the doctor. In the biomechanical examination, a person’s walking pattern is examined based on how their foot functions. From the custom cast and detailed examinations, a custom footwear insert can be made that will address a person’s specific needs. Based on a patient’s needs and style of shoes, foot orthoses can be made from a variety of materials, such as graphite, that can function in relatively shallow shoes, to thermoplastic, more suitable for athletic shoes.
Over-the-counter (OTC) shoe inserts are not effective in treating plantar fasciitis and typically function as shoe cushions. OTC inserts do not address the specific needs of a person’s foot. Everyone’s foot functions differently and needs to be addressed as such. OTC inserts are unable to effectively provide the proper support and stability necessary to address most foot concerns. Custom orthotics not only treat and prevent plantar fasciitis, but can correct other foot deformities and increase foot function.
If you are experiencing heel pain or are interested in a custom made orthotic device, make an appointment to see one of our doctors at Progressive Foot Care.