Orthotic devices include shoe inserts that can relieve the
stress and stretching of your plantar fascia when you stand or walk. You can get the devices with or without a prescription. Orthotic devices you use for
plantar fasciitis are usually made of plastic, rubber,
Soft arch supports and heel cups can relieve your
symptoms. They can help spread and absorb shock (from planting your foot) and
ease pressure on your heel.
If your heel pain is clearly related
to abnormal inward twisting of the foot (pronation), an orthotic device with an
arch support and heel cushion may help.
Custom-made devices require a prescription. They are more
expensive than nonprescription orthotics. Custom orthotics are made by taking
an impression of the foot with a plaster cast and then designing an insert to
control the specific mechanical problem. Before investing in an expensive
custom-made orthotic device, you may want to try a nonprescription orthotic
that you can get at drugstores, supermarkets, or sporting goods stores. This way you
can test different types of devices without great expense.
foot has an unusual shape or if you have a certain problem that the device can
help, then a custom-made device may fit better and control pain better than a
Tape strapping is sometimes recommended for arch
support and heel pain and for controlling foot strikes. A foot or sports
medicine specialist would be familiar with this technique and can show you how
to do it at home.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerGavin W.G. Chalmers, DPM - Podiatry and Podiatric Surgery