With plantar fasciitis sufferers, shoes that are too small may aggravate plantar fasciitis. Shoes with thicker, well-cushioned midsoles may help alleviate the heel pain. Running shoes should be frequently replaced at least every 6 months as they lose their shock absorption capabilities.
Studies have shown that taping the arch or using over-the-counter arch supports or customized orthotics also help in some cases of plantar fasciitis. Orthotics are the most expensive option as a plaster cast is made of the individual’s feet to correct specific biomechanical factors. One study found that 27% of patients cited orthotics as the most helpful treatment of plantar fasciitis. Heel cups, on the other hand, were ranked the least effective treatment in a survey of 411 patients.
Night splints, which are removable braces, passively stretch the calf and plantar fascia during sleep, allowing the fascia to heel. According to several studies, approximately 80% of patients improved after wearing a night splint. It may be especially useful in patients who have had symptoms for more than a few months.
The above information is based on an article by the following Medical College authors that appeared in the February 1, 2001, issue of American Family Physician.
If your plantar fasciitis has been bothering you for more than 6 months, you owe it to yourself to contact HealthTronics to find out if you are a candidate.