By | June 23rd, 2017|
Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis not responding to treatment?

Plantar fasciitis or plantar heel pain that is not responding to conservative treatment such as strapping, stretching and physical therapy can benefit greatly from custom orthotics. In my clinical experience I find that whilst chronic sufferers of plantar fasciitis get some initial improvement with conservative treatment options they usually fail to get 100% relief. In these cases custom orthotics may be the solution you are looking for.

What foot types are prone to chronic plantar fasciitis?

I have been treating this condition for close to 20 years and find that most chronic sufferers of this condition generally have a certain foot type. Usually these patients present with a high arch foot type, that contains a tight, contracted plantar fascia along with a tight achilles and calf muscle. This foot type is a poor shock absorber and even if the arch appears to only collapse mildly it still causes enormous tension on the plantar fascia, especially at the heel insertion. Due to the biomechanics of this foot type it is prone to developing plantar fasciitis which makes treatment without custom orthotics difficult and prone to failure.

plantar fasciitis treatment Melbourne

How can custom orthotics cure plantar fasciitis?

The key to successful plantar fasciitis relief in chronic sufferers is to reduce tension on the plantar fascia and remove forces off the heel. Unfortunately most prefabricated and poorly prescribed orthotics fail to achieve this. When we prescribe custom orthotics for this condition we make sure the arch of the device closely contours the arch of the foot. This is especially important in high arched foot types that are prone to chronic plantar fasciitis.  Custom orthotics can help successfully treat plantar fasciitis in the following ways:

  • Addressing the biomechanical causes of plantar fasciitis
  • Reducing tension on the plantar fascia
  • Redistributing loads across the arch of the foot and thus reducing forces off the plantar fascia heel insertion
plantar fasciitis treatment with custom orthotics

Can prefabricated orthotics succesfully treat plantar fasciitis?

Prefabricated orthotics are generally made with a standardised low arch so it is comfortable for the majority of users. This can help with treating mild plantar fasciitis symptoms, especially when symptoms occur in the middle of the plantar fascia or arch. Unfortunately for chronic sufferers with a high arch foot and heel insertion pain they usually struggle to get 100% relief in these devices. The reason is pretty simple. These arch supports simply aren’t designed to fit the arch of a high arched foot closely enough.

When are custom orthotics indicated for plantar fasciitis?

We recommend that patients visit one of our podiatrists to explore custom orthotic options for plantar fasciitis in the following scenarios:

  • Patients with plantar fasciitis that isn’t improving with conservative treatment
  • Patients who have had plantar fasciitis for 3 months or more and experience heel insertion pain symptoms
  • Patients with a history of plantar fasciitis or who have had the condition more than once before

Custom orthotics didn’t fix my plantar fasciitis

Unfortunately this is a common complaint and you should not assume that all custom orthotics are uncomfortable and don’t work. In these cases it is generally the fault of an inexperienced practitioner with limited knowledge of plantar fasciitis treatment and custom orthotic prescription. A poorly prescribed custom orthotic unfortunately will not reduce adequate strain on the plantar fascia and may even increase forces on the heel. The end result is a custom orthotic that fails to produce results and may even be uncomfortable to wear.

Unsuccessful custom orthotic treatment can also result when a practitioner misdiagnoses your heel pain as plantar fasciitis. There are plenty of similar conditions that can mimic plantar fasciitis symptoms and this has a great effect on orthotic prescription. Unless heel pain is properly diagnosed you will most likely end up with a poorly prescribed custom orthotic that fails to improve symptoms.

Why choose us for plantar fasciitis treatment?

Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics are experienced in treating plantar fasciitis and our podiatrists know the keys to successful plantar fasciitis treatment. They are experienced in custom orthotic prescription and know how to accurately prescribe custom orthotics for effective plantar fasciitis relief. At our Melbourne clinic we also guarantee you accurate devices through our 100% comfort guarantee.

From my own clinical experience I can honestly say that with the right treatment advice and the right custom orthotic there is no reason why chronic sufferers can’t get 100% plantar fasciitis relief and avoid the need for surgery.

Looking for a cure for chronic plantar fasciitis or heel pain? For expert plantar fasciitis treatment advice please make an appointment with one of our friendly Melbourne podiatrists today.