Plantar Fasciitis (Heel Pain) Insoles

Plantar fasciitis management

Suffering with pain in the morning & after rest?

Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tar-fas-i-itis) is one of the most common causes of foot pain experienced by women - and most who have had it will tell you it's a major pain in the arch. It's key eye-watering feature is pain in the heel or arch of the foot, first thing in the morning and after rest, also after periods of standing, walking & exercise. Sound familiar?

Emily Braidwood's female founder Emily Smith is a highly experienced Australian Sports Podiatrist and believes that understanding the cause of Plantar Fasciitis leads to the most successful treatment and prevention of reoccurrence.

Emily describes the plantar fascia as a thick fibrous band of soft tissue that runs under the arch of the foot, from the heel bone to the ball of the foot. Its job is to elongate and contract, much like a rubber band, to prevent collapse of the bones of the foot and provide a spring-like mechanism during walking, running & exercise.

"Problems occur when the plantar fascia becomes overloaded and/or over stretched. Much like pulling on a rubber band, small micro-tears occur in the plantar fascia, kicking off an inflammatory response. From this point it's almost impossible to settle down the pain without giving your feet some love and actioning the underlying factors." - Emily Smith, Sports Podiatrist & Founder of Emily Braidwood.

What most people don't realise is that fashion shoes are the silent cause of the majority of plantar fasciitis cases. When poorly supported shoes are worn on a regular basis, the foot muscles are heavily recruited to provide additional support to the foot and poor foot posture is exacerbated. This leads to tightness and soft tissue contracture under the foot. This in itself can create the onset of pain, or it only takes a small amount of additional load i.e. running on unstable ground, stepping off a curb or doing a burpee to tip the plantar fascia over the edge and into an inflammatory state.  

Other common causes of plantar fasciitis include flat feet, high arches and training errors. 

Plantar Fasciitis Prevention & Treatment

As a rule of thumb, if you've had it for 5 weeks, it will take 5 weeks to resolve. If you've had it for 5 months, it will take 5 months to resolve, etc. However understanding the inflammatory process and employing simple plantar fasciitis management strategies can effectively treat the symptoms and prevent its return.

Essentially the micro-tears within the plantar fascia are reforming with each and every step, so when you rest / sleep the body naturally repairs the micro-tears that have developed. However when we get up from rest and put body weight through the foot, the re-tearing occurs and the body responds with inflammation & pain.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY MANAGEMENT

The cornerstone strategy of plantar fasciitis symptom relief is to prevent the plantar fascia from re-inflaming during walking and following rest. It comes down to simple exercises, foot support and load management.

There are two simple exercises that need to be completed before getting up from rest:

1. Rolling your foot over a tennis ball for approx. 30 seconds  

2. Doing seated calf raises x 10 (lifting your heels off the ground while keeping weight through the ball of the foot)

In addition, using a frozen water bottle to massage the arch area, plus undertaking calf stretches throughout your day (particularly after exercise) will assist with addressing tightness and the inflammation.

SUPPORT YOUR FEET FOR OPTIMAL BIOMECHANICS & PLANTAR FASCIITIS RELIEF

The Emily Braidwood insoles are specifically engineered to provide pain relief, assist in the healing process and minimise the likelihood of its return with features including:

- Soft arch support to prevent the collapse of the foot and subsequent over straining of the plantar fascia

- Lateral foot support to prevent over supination and facilitate normal function of the plantar fascia & Windlass Mechanism

- Magical heel donut to offload an active heel spur (hello bruising pain at the end of the day and the inability to walk barefoot on hard floors) whilst providing softness at heel strike

- Intrinsic HEXAGEL metatarsal dome to support the forefoot attachment of the plantar fascia and establish an optimal metatarsal arch



Want to know more?

We suggest employing these simple, yet effective strategies first. If pain persists, seek consultation with a health professional for an individualised assessment and treatment including:

- Customised orthotics (The EB FLATS will still be the perfect addition to all of your stylish shoes that customised orthotics don't fit including sandals, heels, espadrilles, boots & ballet flats)

- Foot & calf muscle strengthening exercises

- Specific footwear advice & recommendation

- Soft tissue massage / release

- Further investigation i.e. Ultrasound / X-ray / MRI

- Injection therapy