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Treating plantar fasciitis with your shoes

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A foot in pain needs care and cushions
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Treating plantar fasciitis with your shoes provides support and cushioning

Plantar fasciitis is a condition dreaded among runners, but just about anyone can develop it. Basically, the thick tissue at the bottom of your foot (plantar fascia) becomes inflamed. Since this tissue links your heel bone to the toes and forms the arch, inflammation makes walking and running extremely painful.

Treating plantar fasciitis calls for the guidance of a health care specialist. Most cases require some medication, lots of rest and the right pair of shoes. Only doctors can advise you on medication and rest is self explanatory Ė stay off your feet and ice the painful spot for about 10 minutes at least twice a day. Read on for tips on finding shoes that will speed recovery.

Cushioning and support are the magic words

The inflammation can linger for several months or up to 2 years before the pain and other symptoms subside. Investing in a supportive pair of shoes with a lot of cushioning will help you recover faster and reduce pain. Avoid flats and walking barefoot as much as possible.

Choose shoes that have a small heel. Add insoles to help alleviate some of the pain and decrease some of the inflammation. If you already have a pair that seems to fit the bill, bring them in for repair if the heel is worn away and resist skimping on the new insoles because they will help.

There are custom inserts made specifically to address orthotic issues. These will cost more, but also provide the support necessary to help you recover as quickly as possible. Heel cups and felt pads are also used, depending on the arch of your foot and degree of inflammation. When in doubt, ask your health care specialist for guidance Ė donít guess!

At the end of the day it's natural to want to slip out of your shoes and let your poor feet breathe, but walking around the house barefoot can exacerbate the problem. Wear supportive slippers instead and try to keep the walking to a minimum. Keep the slippers by the side of the bed at night so your first steps of the day donít trigger pain.


Treating plantar fasciitis takes time and patience. The people most likely to get it tend to already have foot arch issues (either flat feet or very high arches). Long distance runners, people whoíve experienced rapid weight gain or wear shoes with poor support and soles are also high risk.

One easy way to avoid developing foot pain is to stretch your calves, hamstrings, Achilles tendon and ankle often. Building flexibility in these areas keeps you from straining the plantar fascia tissue in the first place. In addition to doing basic stretches daily, consider taking up a yoga class to improve overall flexibility.

If you think youíre at high risk for developing this inflammation, get yourself a pair of supportive walking and running shoes. Orthotic shoe makers cater to people like yourself whether you need a pair for high intensity workouts, casual walks or to wear to the office. You can even find flip-flops with supportive arches so you can look stylish and stay pain-free year round.

Orthotic shoes are often made for specific weight ranges to accommodate different needs. Women runners under 120 lbs are generally advised to stick with minimalist shoes while athletes over 190 lbs usually need a maximum intensity sneaker.

Treating plantar fasciitis can often be done without surgery, but you absolutely must go easy on yourself and wear shoes thatíll protect and support damaged tissue. The prognosis may seem grim at first because the road to recovery is long, but the kinder you are to your body, the quicker itíll heal.

On the plus side, you have the green light to do some serious shoe shopping. Retail therapy will never feel this good, provided you do it online while resting on a couch and order only supportive shoes with excellent cushioning.


What You Need to Know About Plantar Fasciitis

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