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Plantar Fasciitis Shoes Offer Heel Pain Relief

by Dr. Christopher Hyer

Chances are good that if a person is experiencing chronic heel pain, they’re suffering from plantar fasciitis.

This inflammation of the plantar fascia–the major ligament that stretches from the heel to the toes–can make walking difficult and activities like running and jogging virtually impossible.

Supportive shoes designed with good arch support and a slightly raised heel can help treat and ease this condition as they reduce stress on the plantar fascia.

Plantar fasciitis shoes are one component of treating this painful foot condition.  The effectiveness of plantar fasciitis shoes can be enhanced by the use of orthotic devices that can be placed in the shoes to help correct abnormalities that lead to plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. However, a number of other causes can be to blame, so it is important for you to see a doctor to determine the actual cause. Other causes could be a stress fracture, tendonitis, arthritis or nerve irritation.

The pain of plantar fasciitis is usually worse upon first getting up in the morning or after a long period of sitting. The pain usually decreases after a few minutes of walking, as walking stretches the fascia.

A key part of prevention and treatment of plantar fasciitis is wearing specially designed plantar fasciitis shoes. Foot and ankle doctors can recommend plantar fasciitis shoes that offer the right degree of support required.

Other components of a treatment and prevention regimen include:

  • Exercises that stretch calf muscles.
  • Walking with plantar fasciitis shoes. Beware that walking barefoot can put extra stress on the plantar fascia.
  • Icing the heel for 10 minutes several times a day to reduce inflammation.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Losing weight.
  • Limiting activities and time spent on your feet.

When the pain persists after several weeks, further nonsurgical strategies may be needed:

  • Injection of corticosteroid injections to help reduce the inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Wearing a removable walking cast.
  • Wearing a night splint.
  • Physical therapy.

Through all of this, a person suffering from plantar fasciitis should continue wearing plantar fasciitis shoes and orthotic devices prescribed by a foot and ankle specialist to provide the feet the support they need.

In most cases, nonsurgical treatment works, but in some cases, surgery may be needed.

About the Author

Dr. Christopher F. Hyer is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon in Columbus, Ohio. He and his colleagues founded FootSourceMD.com to provide patients across the U.S. and Canada with convenient access to reliable resources and products recommended by physicians. Dr. Hyer also contributes to medical education and research through frequent presentations and publications and also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery and Foot and Ankle Specialist.
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