The plantar fascia is a bowstring part of the leg that supports the arch of the foot. The arch enables the foot to support the weight of the body. Certain activities cause tension and stress on the plantar fascia. Repeated stress on the heel irritates and inflames the plantar fascia, thus leading to a condition known as plantar fasciitis. It is characterized by a stabbing pain in the heel of the foot. It is common in athletes whose activities exert a lot of pressure on the heel. Obese and flat-footed People are also at a risk of getting plantar fasciitis. This condition is managed by orthotics.
What are orthotics?
These are materials that act as shoe insoles. They are placed and inserted in the shoes of people with plantar fasciitis. They cushion the heels and provide them with the comfort they need while, sitting, standing, running and walking. There are two types of orthotics; custom made orthotics and pre-made orthotics. This article will review custom orthotics and why they are the better choice.
How are custom orthotics made?
A podiatrist prescribes custom orthotics. They are made to fit the needs of an individual. They are designed to conform very close to the arch thus being able to minimize plantar fascial tension effectively. A correct non-weight bearing cast of the foot is made by a doctor with plaster. Proper casting is the key to managing plantar fasciitis effectively. If done, incorrectly, it will only increase tension in the plantar fascia. After casting, the doctor sends this prescription to a lab. Then an orthotic is made that matches the size of your foot.
How do custom orthotics work?
As mentioned above, they reduce the tension in the heel. They cushion the soles from pressure created by any activity that requires constant use of legs. They help in distributing the body weight evenly over both feet. They assist in positioning the ligaments and tendons of the feet so that if it was previously malformed, the feet can now adjust with no straining while walking or running. The objective behind designing custom orthotics is to ease any pain and stress that may be felt in the muscles of your feet. Here is a video so you can have a visual as to how they work.
How to use custom orthotics
Most shoes are made with removable insoles. What you have to do is to remove the insole of the shoe and substitute it the custom made orthotic. To obtain maximum benefit from orthotics, it is recommended that you wear them for longer periods. You can have a second pair of orthotics made for convenience.