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Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a medical condition involving heel pain. When you want to choose the best shoes for plantar fasciitis, plan on spending several hours shopping. You'll want to try on many different pairs in order to select shoes that are the most comfortable for you. However, there are some ways to make the search easier.

Plantar fasciitis is caused by the bottom of the foot becoming inflamed. This is often due to a sports injury or a stress injury. The pain is usually the worst after being at rest. People suffering from plantar fasciitis report flare-ups in the morning when they first wake up or after they've been sitting for long time periods.

The treatment for plantar fasciitis usually involves physical therapy. It can also include bandages, arch support, splints, braces, and the purchase of special shoes with insoles and arch supports. All these things are used to let the foot heal, which can take as long as a year.

Plantar fasciitis orthotics add cushioning to the foot, so most inserts help alleviate some of the pain by protecting the foot when walking. These orthotics are generally made from polyvinyl chloride, silicone, leather, polyethylene foams like Plastazote®, or thermoplastics. Plantar fasciitis orthotics come in two forms, and the type used is generally chosen based on the severity of the condition.

If the condition is mild, general plantar fasciitis orthotics can be purchased at a pharmacy without a prescription. These orthotics will be generic in size and therefore may not fit perfectly to the foot. If the condition is more severe, a podiatrist can create a custom orthotic by taking a plaster cast of the patient's foot and using that to design a specific orthotic that will mold to the foot and compensate for any anatomical causes contributing to the planter fasciitis. The custom fit can allow these orthotics to aid in the healing process. Custom plantar fasciitis orthotics are generally quite expensive, however.

The need for proper arch support is the key when trying to choose the best shoes for plantar fasciitis. The arch support you need depends on your foot. Do you have a flat arch or a high arch? Do your feet supinate — inner foot turns out — when you walk, or do they pronate — inner foot turns in? Your podiatrist can answer this question if you're not sure.

Custom footwear fabricated by a certified pedorthist is often recommended for plantar fasciitis. Custom orthotics can be added to make your shoes even more supportive. Your podiatrist may suggest custom orthotics or you could use a cheaper method such as heat moldable orthotics. These fit into your shoes after the insole that comes with the shoe is removed. If you are not used to wearing arch supports or insoles, break them in slowly by wearing them only a few minutes a day to start.

If you're looking for specific brand names, podiatrists often recommend New Balance® running shoes, Crocs™, or Birkenstocks® as good choices for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis. If you need to wear dressier shoes, however, you may have to depend entirely on the insoles and arch supports. Unfortunately, most brands of dress shoes don't provide the support you need when trying to choose the best shoes for plantar fasciitis.

Heel pain which is caused by the bottom of the foot becoming inflamed. This is often due to a sports injury or a stress injury. The pain is usually the worst after being at rest. People suffering from plantar fasciitis report flare-ups in the morning when they first wake up or after they've been sitting for long time periods.

The treatment for plantar fasciitis usually involves physical therapy. It can also include bandages, arch support, splints, braces, and the purchase of special custom footwear  with insoles and arch supports that a certified pedorthist can fabricate for you.  All these things are used to let the foot heal, which can take as long as a year.

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