What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is a painful inflammation of the sheath (the plantar fascia) connecting the heel and the toes. Excessive stretching of the plantar fascia creates pain and swelling, making walking and standing uncomfortable. This condition can even lead to the formation of calcium deposits on the heel bone, resulting in heel spurs.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
This condition can be caused by a variety of issues, including:
- Inadequate arch support, or shoes with soles that are too thin to protect the foot
- Stress on the foot created by a lot of standing or walking
- Unusual physical activity
- Tight calf muscles
- Obesity, which also produces additional stress on the foot
- Excessive stretching of the Plantar Fascia due to exercise such as running or dancing
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
Heel pain is the most common symptom of plantar fasciitis. Pain is typically worst in the morning when you first stand on your feet, although it can occur at any time of the day.
You may also experience heel or arch pain if you have been walking or standing for long periods of time, or stretching your arch while walking up stairs.
Pain typically develops gradually, and may affect one or both feet. The pain often feels as if you are being stabbed in the heel. As the plantar fascia stretches over the course of the day, pain may subside.
Best Insoles, Sleep Aids and Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Products that can help alleviate symptoms of plantar fasciitis are typically those that help keep the plantar fascia stretched, and/or provide additional support to the arch. These products include:
- Shoes with deep heel cups and superior arch support, which in turn allows you to relieve stress on the bottom of the foot.
- Rocker-sole shoes, which can help stretch the plantar fascia.
- Orthotics and insoles to provide extra arch support.
- Heel cups or cushions, which provide extra cushioning and stability to the heel.
- Sleep Aids that can keep your feet flexed.
- Plantar Fasciitis Sleeves, which apply compression to your arches.
Specific products that can be helpful to those with plantar fascia:
- >Rocker sole shoes such as: Dansko clogs, Alegria, Finnamic by Finn Comfort, MBT, or Sano by Mephisto.
- Shoes with exceptional support like: Orthaheel/Dr. Andrew Weil, Naot, Mephisto, New Balance, Aetrex, Gravity Defyer, Fidelio, and Finn Comfort.
- Orthotics and other insoles from Aetrex Lynco, Superfeet, Spenco, Pedag, Dr. Rosenberg, Feetures!, and Apex
- Sleep Aids from Feetures!, Thermoskin and Strassburg Sock
- The all new Plantar Fasciitis Sleeve by Feetures!, which can be worn during the day or while sleeping