Do You Need Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis Treatment?
Are you looking to find out if getting Orthotics will help your Plantar Fasciitis?
Where necessary, our Podiatrists may recommend orthotics as part of a Plantar Fasciitis treatment plan.
Not all people can benefit from wearing orthotics when they suffer from Plantar Fasciitis.
Often a range of clinical testing and intermittent taping of the foot in a particular way will encourage our podiatrist to recommended to you orthotic therapy.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a very painful condition.
It is more appropriately called Plantar Fasciosis or Plantar Fasciopathy as research has shown it is rare the plantar fascia is actually inflamed.
It is better regarded as a degeneration or weakness of the plantar fascia as it inserts into the calcaneus.
It usually presents as consistent pain around the heel and arch and is worse after periods of rest.
Throughout the gait cycle, complex biomechanics occur to support the foot as it transition from shock absorber at mid-stance to rigid lever at propulsion.
When these mechanics are perhaps weak and overloaded, additional stress is placed on the plantar fascia.
Over time, the accumulative stress and trauma can result in pain that is severe enough to affect the patient’s mobility and activities of daily living.
How Orthotics Can Help with Plantar Fasciitis
In more recent years, orthotic inserts are being used a lot more to help patients shift the forces and pressure under the foot, reducing the strain on the plantar fascia.
They work by supporting the plantar surface of the foot, shifting the centre of pressure away from the injured tissue and reducing the distance between the origin and insertion of the plantar fascia.
Over time, this accumulative reduction in stress helps provide pain relief and restoration of tissue quality.
Podiatrists can offer specific advice regarding the various orthotic options available and what is most appropriate for each individual.
Orthotic Prescription and Dosage
We often refer to orthotic therapy as “Orthotic Prescription” in almost the same vain as a doctor will prescribe medication for an illness.
This is because the orthotic will only be beneficial if its design features provide the appropriate amount (dosage) of force and pressure redistribution to the appropriate part of the foot.
This is dependent upon a number of things including the posture and movement of your foot, the materials of the orthotic and the shape (design features) of the orthotic.
In addition, knowing that the orthotic is mostly helpful by reducing the accumulative stress placed on a tissue, we need to use the orthotic for a certain amount of time (dosage) or for a particular activity for it to have an effect.
We must remember the orthotic is a load reduction tool and is only likely to be effective if the dosage is appropriate.
How Podiatrists Prescribe Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis
Podiatrists offer custom designed orthotics to suit the individual patient’s needs.
The process involves a detailed analysis of the foot and ankle, how much movement is available at different joints and the way the foot moves each time it contacts the ground.
An impression of the patient’s foot will be taken using a 3D scan, with this impression and our orthotic design features being sent to the lab for manufacturing.
Orthotics can be made from a variety of different materials, dependent on the amount of force required to redistribute the force under the foot, the activities they will be worn for and the body weight of the individual.
Conclusion on Plantar Fasciitis Orthotic Treatment
Foot orthotics are one of the treatment modalities available to help in the management of patients who suffer every day with the pain and distress of plantar fasciitis.
While prefabricated orthotics are available, podiatrists can offer custom made orthotics by expertly assessing the foot and creating an orthotic with an appropriate “dosage” to more effectively reduce the load on the plantar fascia.
If you would like to get orthotics for plantar fasciitis treatment, please make an appointment by calling (03) 9939 3339 or book online.