Foot Health Blog
Find expert articles from physical therapists and podiatrists to help understand, diagnose, and treat different foot health issues such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, flat feet, and more.
Plantar Fasciitis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, and More
The latest research is showing that plantar fasciitis consists of small micro-tears and thickening in the plantar fascia itself (the band of soft tissue that makes up the arch of the foot) and is most commonly caused by your feet being overloaded. The most common causes of this overload are poor foot mechanics (collapsed arches, flat, and high-arched feet) combined with too much standing and inappropriate shoes. Sport and exercise are also often implicated again due to the foot being overloaded and not getting a chance to heal itself.
The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain that increases after exercise, long periods of sitting, or when you first wake up in the morning. However, plantar fasciitis can cause more problems if left untreated.
» Can orthotics relieve plantar fasciitis symptoms? Upstep's plantar fasciitis custom orthotics can easily fit into your lifestyle and provide the necessary support for your feet
What Can You Do About Plantar Fasciitis Heel Pain?
Correct the foot mechanics with custom-made orthotics
This is particularly important if you have had plantar fasciitis for over 3 months.
Strengthen the muscles of your hips, legs, and feet
Perform exercises designed to make them work better when standing and walking. Simple foot exercises are simply not enough.
Change your shoes
Shoes with good support and a small heel lift are essential. A good pair of running shoes or walking boots are good, flat and soft sneakers are not!
What’s So Special About the Upstep Custom Orthotic Solution?
Our orthotics are custom made to your own foot shape. This means that they will give the maximum support to your feet to reduce the underlying forces responsible.
All of our orthotics come with a comprehensive range of exercises designed by a specialist - our in-house Podiatrist, Philip Wells. These work with your orthotics to give the fastest and most comprehensive rehabilitation program possible.
» Still not convinced custom orthotics are for you? Read the plantar fasciitis custom orthotics review
More Tips for Reducing Plantar Fasciitis Heel Pain
Combining orthotics, good footwear, and exercises always give the best long-term success.Be patient. It takes, on average, 6 months to fully recover from a really bad case of plantar fasciitis.
Everyone is different and this is never truer than when dealing with plantar fasciitis. This means that there is no magic bullet for everyone. However, the general rule of thumb is that in 99% of cases it is the overload of the foot that is to blame and this has to be removed.
Plantar fasciitis7 Best Insoles for Treating Plantar Fasciitis-Related Calf PainPlantar fasciitis-related calf pain is a commonly reported condition if you spend the majority of the day on your feet, you're an athlete, or wear high heel shoes. Plantar fasciitis doesn't directly cause calf pain but is rather associated with tightness experienced in the calf muscle because of the tension placed on your foot.
Wearing the correct insoles can help lessen this tension, but in a market saturated with products, it can be intimidating to choose insoles. That's why we've listed the top 7 insoles for treating plantar fasciitis-related calf pain below.
A Quick Look at Our Top 7 Insoles for Calf Pain Caused by Plantar Fasciitis
1. Overall Best for Plantar Fasciitis Calf Pain: Upstep Plantar Fasciitis2. Best for Sensitive Feet and Metatarsal Pain: URthotics Comfort+3. Best for Stabilizing Runner's Feet: Superfeet Run Pain Relief4. Best for Firm Arch Support: Tread Labs Pace Wide5. Best for Wide Shoes: Protalus M-1006. Best for Shock Absorption: SOLE Everyday Medium7. Best for Body Alignment Correction: FitMyFoot Wave
What to Look for in Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis?
Insoles with proper cushioning serve to absorb shock during walking and standing, lessening impact forces on the feet and lower legs. This prevents overuse of specific muscles and promotes a more natural gait, minimizing strain on the calf muscles and the plantar fascia, effectively alleviating both calf pain and heel pain.
So, aside from the correct fit and sizing, here's what to look for in insoles for plantar fasciitis-related calf pain:
Arch and Heel Support: Look for strong arch support and a defined heel cupBiomechanical Alignment: Opt for insoles promoting proper gait and foot motionArch Type: Match insoles to your arch type for better, firm supportShock Absorption: Good shock absorption reduces impact on feet and calvesCushioning: Adequate cushioning, especially in heel and forefoot areas, eases pressure
7 Best Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis Calf Pain
1. Overall Best for Plantar Fasciitis-Related Calf Pain
ProsCustom-made by top podiatristsAddresses your foot needs directlyFSA and HSA eligibleKlarna eligible180-day money-back guaranteeFree shipping and returnsConsShort waiting period before receiving orthotics
Upstep Plantar Fasciitis Custom Orthotics are designed to optimize your lifestyle by supporting the arch of your foot through custom-designed insoles you cast in the comfort of your own home. The insoles work by alleviating the tension applied to the plantar fascia on the underside of the foot and, subsequently, on the calf muscle itself.
Upstep's custom orthotics are specifically created to assist your body in retaining its optimal alignment, enabling healthy movement while minimizing fatigue and the risk of injuries. Comfort is provided through the combination of high-quality cushioning material layers that support the crucial areas of your foot.
2. Best Plantar Fasciitis Insoles for Sensitive Feet and Metatarsal Pain
ProsCustom-madeComfortable for sensitive feetProvide even relief of pressure pointsFSA and HSA eligible ConsNo interest-free installmentsComplicated paperwork
URthotics Comfort+ Insoles are designed with a soft top layer for people with sensitive feet as well as metatarsal and forefoot pain. These custom orthotics are made from molds of your feet, thereby providing maximum comfort and support because they're uniquely suited to your feet.
The materials used in URthotics Comfort+ Insoles uniquely combine both flexibility and durability, offering essential foot support necessary for calf pain caused by plantar fasciitis while ensuring a long lifespan for the product.
URthotics Comfort+ Insoles are more expensive than other options but are also HSA and FSA-eligible. You're required to fill in paperwork to inform them of your detailed foot pain areas, needs, or concerns. This can be rather complicated if you're not sure about your condition and don't fully understand what you need.
» Are custom orthotics right for you? Compare custom orthotics vs. over-the-counter insoles
3. Best Plantar Fasciitis Insoles for Stabilizing Runner's Feet
Pros60-day comfort guaranteeAffordableDurable for up to a yearConsNot custom-madeHas to be trimmed to fit feet
The Superfeet Run Pain Relief Insoles are specifically designed for those struggling with symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis and have proven to be effective in alleviating it. The insoles come with a heel stabilizer designed to personalize your arch support and stabilize the foot within a moderate-fitting shoe.
However, these insoles aren't the same as custom orthotics and can only be adjusted to fit the size of your foot through trimming.
4. Best Plantar Fasciitis Insoles for Firm Arch Support
ProsAffordableReplacement guarantee if insoles crack or lose shapeExtra firm supportConsNot custom madeLess than perfect fitMore suitable for people with wide feetNot as durable
Tread Labs Pace Wide Insoles are made with firm arch support for those with wider feet that may be struggling with symptoms related to plantar fasciitis, such as calf pain, or severe pronation. These insoles fit well within running sneakers, hiking boots, and other footwear through a full-length removable design.
However, the insoles purchased come with a no-returns or exchange policy. The insoles are also made with four different arch height supports, and finding the perfect one for you might prove challenging.
» Is your calf pain unrelated to plantar fasciitis? Explore the best insoles for calf pain
5. Best Wide Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis
ProsAffordableHigher arch support90-day money-back guaranteeConsNot custom madeLess perfect fitPossible insufficient supportBetter suited for wide feet
The Protalus M-100 Insoles are an extremely affordable way to provide comfort and support to people with larger or wider shoes. The raised edges around the sides of the insoles, notably on the inner side of the foot, aim to relieve pressure from your feet. Therefore, these insoles may be effective in managing symptoms related to plantar fasciitis.
However, some users have reported that the insoles are bigger than expected, thereby not providing an optimal fit. Others have reported they didn't experience as much relief from their symptoms as they might’ve expected.
6. Best Shock-Absorbing Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis
ProsAffordableHeat/wear moldable baseDeep heel cupConsNot custom-madeStiff arch supportTakes longer to break in
The SOLE Everyday Medium Insoles are a great alternative to prescription insoles, while still giving your foot support and aiming to reduce pain from plantar fasciitis. These insoles are a long-term solution for many by reducing the shock placed onto your feet' structures.
However, some users have reported that the insoles are extremely firm and don't provide enough cushioning, leading to discomfort in the feet.
7. Best Plantar Fasciitis Insoles for Body Alignment Correction
ProsCustom 3D printed insoleFSA and HSA eligibleDeep contoured heel cushionConsCannot be trimmed to fit shoe sizeLimited 30-day return policyCustomer is responsible for shipping
The FitMyFoot Full-Length Wave Insoles are designed to relieve foot pain, achieve better body alignment, and make your shoes feel and fit better on your feet. The insoles are 3D printed for a maximum fit and are ideal for athletic shoes. The insoles come with a shock-absorbing heel cushion and dynamic arch support for those suffering from plantar fasciitis.
» Suffering from flat feet and plantar fasciitis? Look for these features in your orthotics
Say Goodbye to Plantar Fasciitis-Related Calf Pain
Custom orthotics are an ideal choice if you're looking for an affordable, long-term solution to the burning sensation and discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis and calf pain. Upstep's custom-made insoles are specifically made to support and contour to the exact shape of your feet during the manufacturing process, thereby giving you maximum comfort.
How We Selected the Best Insoles
In our quest to select the best insoles for treating plantar fasciitis-related calf pain, we reached out to a diverse group of experts, including sports medicine professionals, podiatrists, and orthopedic specialists. Their insights and recommendations played a crucial role in our decision-making process. The consensus among these experts was unanimous: custom orthotics can be highly beneficial for people experiencing this type of pain because:
They provide appropriate support, cushioning, and corrective alignmentQuality insoles help alleviate calf painThey reduce the risk of future injuriesThey enhance comfort during prolonged standing, walking, and any physical activity
Why Trust Us?
Our podiatrists use a personalized approach to address individual foot mechanics and cater to the specific demands of different activities. All Upstep's custom orthotics prioritize proper foot alignment, shock absorption, and targeted support to provide optimal relief and aid in the prevention of pain associated with various activities.
Plantar fasciitis5 Best Insoles for Tennis Players to Prevent Plantar FasciitisPlantar fasciitis is one of the most common injuries reported by both recreational and elite athletes. Inflammation in the plantar fascia causes intense pain, especially in the area surrounding the heel, and sports that involve running and long hours of play, like tennis, are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis.
There are a number of plantar fasciitis exercises to alleviate pain; however, wearing the correct orthotics is an extremely effective way to prevent and manage the condition. Below is a list of the best orthotic options for you to consider to play tennis pain-free.
1. Upstep | Tennis Custom Orthotics2. Protalus | T-100 Elite Insoles3. SOLE | Performance Medium Insoles With Met Pad4. Superfeet | ME3D Insoles5. URthotics | Active/Sports Insoles
1. Upstep | Tennis Custom Orthotics
ProsCustom-madeAffordableFSA & HSA eligible180-day money-back guaranteeSuits grass and hardcourtsAt-home impression kitConsShort waiting period before receiving orthotics
Upstep's Tennis Custom Orthotics are specifically designed to the shape of your feet by podiatrists to provide stability and cushioning to your feet. Made from EVA materials, these orthotics are durable and aim to improve the dynamic range of your feet while you partake in your tennis game.
Intended for both grass and hardcourt tennis shoes, these custom insoles can help to relieve plantar fasciitis symptoms by supporting your foot and redistributing any weight.
2. Protalus | T-100 Elite Insoles
ProsComfortable and thin designIdeal for standard-volume shoesHigher sides for pressure distributionAnti-slip ridges90-day money-back guaranteeConsNot custom-madeSelf-trimming may cause improper fit and supportNot durable in the long-term
Protalus T-100 Elite Insoles aim to provide moderate support to the length of your foot, reduce shock applied to your foot (specifically your heel), and support your foot arch. The anti-slip ridges help to increase your foot's stability by gripping the inside of your shoe.
However, these insoles are bought as is and must be trimmed to fit. If done incorrectly, this may cause an improper fit and provide insufficient support.
» Already have plantar fasciitis? Purchase the best insoles for plantar fasciitis-related calf pain
3. SOLE | Performance Medium With Met Pad
ProsSustainable base of recycled wine corksPrioritizes forefoot comfortOdor control90-day money-back guaranteeConsIncorrect mold may cause insufficient support
The SOLE Performance Medium Insoles with Met Pad offer a medium-cushioned footbed made from recycled wine corks. A metatarsal pad for forefoot support can help reduce plantar fascia pain by supporting the natural spread of your foot bones—especially helpful during a tennis game.
These insoles require you to heat up and mold the insole to the shape of your feet before inserting them into your shoes. If the insoles don't mold to your foot shape correctly, the improper fit may worsen your symptoms.
4. Superfeet | ME3D Insoles
ProsCustom-made3D printedOdor control60-day guaranteeConsBiometrics must be measured at a retailerWaiting period before receiving orthotics
The Superfeet ME3D Insoles are custom, 3D-printed insoles designed to meet the needs of your feet. With five independent zones tuned to adapt and respond to how your feet move, these insoles aim to provide comfort and stability. As an added touch, you can even have your name engraved onto the insoles.
However, you have to visit a retailer to have your biometrics measured before your insoles can be ordered. This may be inconvenient in comparison to the at-home kits of other insoles.
5. URthotics | Active/Sports Insoles
ProsCustom-madeFSA & HSA eligible6-months money-back guaranteeAt-home impression kitConsWaiting period before receiving orthoticsNot specifically designed for tennis
URthotics Active/Sports Insoles are custom-made insoles designed for those participating in sports or living an active lifestyle. These insoles are durable and provide custom arch support, cushioning, stability, and motion control.
While not specifically designed for tennis, these insoles can help lessen the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
» Prevent possible discomfort as a tennis player with the best inserts for Achilles tendonitis
Choose the Best Orthotics for You
As an athlete, it's best to be proactive regarding your foot condition to ensure it doesn't worsen and for you to keep performing optimally. Custom-made, sport-specific orthotics can significantly contribute to this by helping to alleviate your plantar fasciitis symptoms and prevent injury.
Plantar fasciitisTreatment of Plantar Fibroma: Exercises, Insoles, and MoreA plantar fibroma is a rare growth in the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue at the base of the foot. Though benign, this growth continues to increase in size, causing pain. This can make it difficult to perform ordinary activities of daily living like standing, walking, or wearing shoes.
This article looks at the symptoms and causes of plantar fibroma and discusses the various treatment options available.
Symptoms of Plantar Fibroma
Initially, plantar fibroma is asymptomatic and barely noticeable. Over time, it becomes a noticeable and firm lump in the arch of the foot. As it grows, it begins to cause pain and pressure in the arch of the foot. Subsequently, multiple fibromas can develop.
» Can orthotics help relieve plantar fibroma symptoms? Investing in custom orthotics can provide your feet with the support they need. Peruse Upstep's wide range of orthotics to get started
Causes of Plantar Fibroma
A plantar fibroma is rare, and its cause is unknown. You are, however, at an increased risk of developing the growth due to the following reasons:
People above 40 are more likely to develop a plantar fibroma.
Statistically, men are twice as likely to develop a fibroma than women.
If someone in your family has had it, then you’re more likely to develop one.
People of European descent seem to be more prone to having plantar fibroma than others. On the other hand, it is rare in people of Asian descent.
Chronic liver disease, thyroid disorders, diabetes, and epilepsy have all been implicated as risk factors for plantar fibroma. Other fibroproliferative conditions like keloids and Peyronie’s disease can also increase your risk.
Beta-blockers, Anti-seizure drugs, glucosamine, chondroitin, and vitamin C supplements are also suspected to increase the risk of plantar fibroma.
Trauma due to overuse or injury to the bottom of the foot can potentially cause a fibroma.
How these risks cause plantar fibroma remains unknown, so prevention and curing remain challenging. However, the symptoms can be alleviated using different treatment methods.
How to Treat Plantar Fibroma Symptoms
The primary symptom of a plantar fibroma is pain and discomfort. Hence, the goal of treatment is generally to relieve pain and make standing/wearing shoes more bearable. This can be achieved using any of the following:
While exercises won’t dissolve the fibroma, they will strengthen the foot arch and make the foot more flexible. These exercises can be performed at home, with or without the help of a physiotherapist, and include the following:
1. Stand facing the wall with the affected foot about two steps behind
2. Place your hands on the wall at shoulder height
3. With the knee of the affected leg straight and the heel firmly on the floor, press forwards on the front leg
4. When you feel a stretch on the calf of the affected leg, hold the position for 20-30 seconds and then relax
5. Repeat 3 times daily.
1. While sitting erect in a chair, cross your affected foot over the opposite knee
2. Grab your big toe with your index finger and thumb and pull in the direction of your chin
3. When you feel a stretch in your arch, hold the position for 20-30 seconds and then relax
4. Repeat 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions daily
A Physiotherapist will manage a plantar fibroma with a combination of massage that includes passive stretching of the fascia, electrotherapy, isometric exercises of the toe extensors, shockwave therapy, and splinting.
A corticosteroid injection into the nodule will reduce pain and inflammation, making it easier to walk. However, it is worthy of note that steroid injections are a temporary measure as it only addresses the pain and does nothing to reduce the growth.
Orthotics are also helpful when treating a plantar fibroma. They help redistribute body weight, ease the pressure on the heel, and reduce the tension in the plantar fascia. Orthotics make standing or wearing shoes more comfortable, thereby improving the quality of life. Although there are many different types of orthotics, custom orthotics are preferable as they can more closely conform to the shape of the foot. Upstep has some of the best insoles for plantar fibroma. You can order Upstep custom orthotics online and have them delivered to your location.
» Unsure whether custom orthotics will help? Read the custom orthotics review
Surgery is used as a last resort when conservative management fails to improve symptoms but should not be taken lightly. A surgical procedure can flatten your foot arch or increase the risk of developing hammertoes, and the fibroma may even grow back after a while.
Should You See a Doctor for a Plantar Fibroma?
In the end, a plantar fibroma affects people differently. It is important to seek appropriate care immediately if you notice any growth in the arch of your foot. Your doctor will talk to you about the best approach to manage the condition so as to maintain your quality of life.
Plantar fasciitisHow to Massage Your Plantar FibromaPlantar fibroma is a swollen bump on the arch of the foot. It is a rare condition that affects the plantar fascia and can cause significant pain and pressure on the foot when standing or wearing shoes. Learn more about plantar fibroma and how to get rid of this condition by following a practical home massage technique.
Causes of Plantar Fibroma
While the exact cause of plantar fibroma is unknown, several factors have been identified as contributory in cases where a knot in the arch of the foot has been observed. Some of the most common are listed below:
Trauma to the Plantar Fascia
Injury to the plantar fascia often through overuse or repetitive stress can cause plantar fibroma.Genetics
Plantar fibroma seems to be transmitted along familial lines so that you’re more likely to have it if someone in your family has previously had it.Medication
Beta-blockers, anti-seizure agents, excess vitamin C supplements, and glucosamine/chondroitin medications can all trigger the formation of plantar fibroma.
Symptoms of Plantar Fibroma
There are no symptoms of plantar fibroma at the early stage. However, as the knot in the arch of the foot grows, it becomes more noticeable, causing pain and discomfort in the foot. It also causes pressure, especially when standing or wearing shoes.
Massaging Plantar Fibroma
While a physiotherapist can perform a plantar fibromatosis massage to relieve tension, you may also perform a home treatment to massage out a plantar fibroma. Consider doing this on yourself only after seeking expert advice from your doctor. Ensure you use proper technique when carrying out these massages. Some of the easiest and most common ways to perform a massage for plantar fibroma are:
Golf ball massage
While seated in a chair, place a golf ball in the arch of your foot. Gently roll the ball under your foot until you identify a pressure point. Press down until the pressure releases. Remember that pressure, not discomfort, is the goal.
Petrissage massage of the foot
This is a deep pressure massage to the sole. Using your thumb, work in a criss-cross manner from the heel to the ball of your foot until you cover the entire foot.
More Ways To Alleviate Symptoms of Plantar Fibroma
These can be custom fitted to include an indent for the plantar fibroma. Thus, orthotics help redistribute the body weight, reduce the pressure on the heel and the tension in the plantar fascia. What's convenient is that with Upstep, you can order a custom orthotic online without ever needing to leave the comfort of your home.
» Discover the best insoles for plantar fibroma and much more
The physiotherapist uses stretching, exercises, electrotherapy, shockwave therapy, and massage to treat plantar fibroma. The goal is to break down the tense fibers, improve circulation, and aid healing.
Conclusion: Massage and Physical Therapy for Plantar Fibroma
Undoubtedly, massage and other techniques used by physiotherapists are important in the management of plantar fibroma. Not only do they help in relieving pain; they also stimulate healing and help maintain the quality of life. However, the correct technique must be used. Thus, you must ensure you use massage (or any other treatment method) under the direct supervision or instruction of a physiotherapist or medical expert.
Plantar fasciitisHow to Relieve Plantar Fasciitis Pain Using Pressure PointsPlantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. If it is not managed, it can lead to significant functional limitation and discomfort. Fortunately, there are various methods to manage your plantar fasciitis, including NSAIDs, rest, massage, exercises, and wearing custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis. One of the lesser-known methods is the use of pressure points.
Pressure points are sensitive parts of the body that bring pain relief upon sustained pressure to it. They correspond to traditional Chinese medicine acupressure points, which are thought to control the flow of qi between body parts, and can be used to treat body discomfort even beyond plantar fasciitis.
Can Plantar Fasciitis Be Treated Using Massage Techniques?
A massage is one of the most effective ways in treating plantar fasciitis. When done correctly, you can massage the plantar fasciitis away. Massaging improves circulation and stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving agents. It also promotes relaxation, relieving tension in the foot and reducing pain.
You can massage your plantar fasciitis yourself, or get someone to help you. You may also perform the massage manually or you may use a massage machine. Regardless of the technique you choose, understand that a massage can initially be discomforting, but it should not inflict pain. Always start your massage gently, and whenever possible, use a medium technique to reduce the effect of friction on the procedure.
Some of the massages you can use include the following techniques and methods:
The kneading massage technique.The effleurage technique.The petrissage method.The cross-fiber method.
Are There Pressure Points That Can Be Massaged to Relieve Plantar Fasciitis?
There are many pressure points in the foot. By targeting the ones that connect to the foot and applying pressure to them, you can relieve plantar fasciitis. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, three pressure points that directly affect heel pain are Tai Xi, Kun Lun, and Yong Quan (KD 1). These have links to the liver and kidney yin deficiency—hence their effectiveness in relieving heel pain.
While the Tai Xi pressure point is between the Achilles tendon and the top of that inner bony bump on your ankle (medial malleolus), the Kun Lun is the depression between the lateral malleolus and your Achilles tendon. The KD 1 pressure point is at the depression between the big toe and second toe.
You can target these points when aiming for pain relief after plantar fasciitis. Pain relief will occur through the release of endorphins and the stimulation of larger nerve fibers that block pain perception. Also, the pressure may stimulate the autonomic nervous system and affect the body's response to pain. Regardless of how it causes relief, massaging the pressure points is bound to relieve plantar fasciitis and reduce the time it takes to heal. To find out if you're on the right track, here are some signs that your plantar fasciitis is healing.
How to Massage Pressure Points to Relieve Plantar Fasciitis
You can either self-massage or use a massage machine alongside strengthening exercises specifically for plantar fasciitis; you can also get a professional to help you. Whichever way, there are different ways you can massage pressure points. The idea is to find which one works best for you and stick to it. Some techniques include:
Massage With the Heel of Your Hand
Bend the affected foot over the knee of the other leg while sitting on a chair, or at the edge of the bed.Using the heel of the opposite hand, apply pressure to the sole. Work your way down from the heel to the bottom of the toes.Cover the entire sole up to ten times, increasing the pressure with each repetition. You can increase the pressure by leaning into your hand with your body weight.
The difference between the heel-of-hand massage and this is in the tool. To perform this:
Begin in a seated position with one leg crossed over the other.Using the thumb, apply pressure to your sole, moving from the heel to the toes and back. Ensure you cover every region of the foot.Continue for 1 to 2 minutes, increasing the pressure with every cycle.
To increase the intensity of the massage with the heel of your hand or the thumb massage, you can flex your toes in different directions as you massage from your heel to your toes.
Plantar fasciitis commonly affects the foot, especially athletes, and people that stand for long periods. Already, a massage is an established way to curb its symptoms, offering pain relief. When you target the pressure points in the foot with the massage, you increase the effectiveness of the treatment and prevent plantar fasciitis from becoming a chronic condition.
Massages are one of the many ways that you can remedy plantar fasciitis pain. To learn more, take a look at our posts on Epsom salts for plantar fasciitis and the things you should avoid doing with plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis7 Best Cycling Shoe Insoles for Plantar FasciitisAs good and enjoyable as cycling is, it can have detrimental effects on your feet. If you throw plantar fasciitis into the mix, cycling can become a significant source of pain and discomfort. While proper shoes, cleats, and techniques may be enough for the average cyclist, those with plantar fasciitis may also require insoles.
Whether you’re cycling for fun or professionally, those with plantar fasciitis must use the best insoles to maintain optimal foot mechanics, reduce plantar fascia stress, and, with time, reduce discomfort and pain.
In this article, we've reviewed some of the market's best cycling shoe insoles for plantar fasciitis.
» What causes plantar fasciitis? Discover symptoms and treatments of plantar fasciitis
1. Upstep Plantar Fasciitis Custom Orthotics
Upstep plantar fasciitis insoles are made for you on-demand, factoring in your unique foot impression and lifestyle. The custom orthotics also guarantee maximum support and comfort, relieve pain, and ease the strain on the plantar fascia—possibly making them the best orthotics for plantar fasciitis and flat feet.
Upstep insoles are firm and sturdy to improve shock absorption. They're also affordable and eligible for HSA and FSA insurance.
» What exercises will help with plantar fasciitis? Try these stretches and strengthening exercises for plantar fasciitis
2. Upstep Cycling Custom Orthotics
Upstep cycling custom orthotics have better footbeds than those provided by most cycling shoes. That’s not entirely surprising seeing as they're designed to match the contour of the individual foot.
The benefits of cycling orthotics include high durability, improved performance, and reduced risk of injury. This is achieved by the unique materials the orthotics are made from because they evenly spread the pressure in the cycle sole to increase your foot's comfort, support, and stability.
» Do you need additional arch support? Consider these cycling shoe insoles for arch support
3. Tread Labs Lael Wilcox Cycling Insoles
Tread Labs Lael Wilcox cycling insoles are primarily performance-enhancing and not pathology-limiting, meaning they'll have a limited effect on plantar fasciitis. However, since they're made from 100% carbon fibre, they provide rigid arch support.
Lael Wilcox insoles are best for shoes with thin or no inserts and come in generic sizes. There are also four different arch heights for individuals requiring different levels of arch support. Tread Labs Lael Wilcox are affordable and will work well if you can find a perfect fit.
4. SOLE Active Medium Insoles with Metatarsal Pad
SOLE Active medium insoles with metatarsal pads are clinically proven to provide plantar fasciitis support. Due to the metatarsal pad, they also improve forefoot comfort in medium-fitting shoes.
These insoles are designed from recyclable wine corks, making them carbon-negative and increasing their shock absorption. They can be molded into shape by wearing them on the foot, as opposed to being wear-ready like custom orthotics.
5. Superfeet Run Pain Relief Insoles
As the name implies, Superfeet Run Pain Relief insoles are designed specifically for runners. However, they come with a wider forefoot and a deep heel cup, making them suitable for wide cycling shoes.
These insoles have moisture-wick fabrics for odor control and can keep your cycling shoes smelling fresh, especially for those who sweat a lot. They also have a heel stabilizer and therapeutic foam to stabilize the foot and reduce the effect of repetitive stress on the feet.
If you opt for Superfeet run pain relief insoles, you will have to worry about fitting as they come in generic sizes, which may somewhat reduce their effectiveness.
6. Protalus T-100 Insoles
Protalus T-100 insoles are best for low-volume shoes with removable inserts. Although thinner, they provide more cushion and comfort than the M-series. These insoles come in specific sizes meaning there may be a need for trimming to find your exact size.
Protalus T-100 insoles are affordable and can help improve performance as a cyclist. However, these insoles don't offer much benefit to those with plantar fasciitis.
7. URthotics Active/Sports Insoles
The good thing about custom orthotics like URthotics active/sports insoles is that you don't need to know anything about your foot arch height or size beforehand. URthotics sports insoles are made based on the contouring of your foot. They also have a deep heel cup to keep the feet aligned.
URthotics sports insoles may be more expensive, but if you have an active HSA or FSA card, you can pay with that or you can pay in installments using ShopPay.
If you have plantar fasciitis and plan on cycling often, consider getting custom orthotics. Even if you have no plantar fasciitis, the perfect fit of custom orthotics to your foot will have preventive effects and can help improve your performance and reduce your injury risk.
» Concerned about cycling with plantar fasciitis? Read these tips from a physical therapist Plantar fasciitisThe Effectiveness of Cortisone Injections for Plantar FasciitisOften, many individuals who suffer from heel pain may have a common foot condition called plantar fasciitis, an inflammatory condition that affects the plantar fascia (the band of tissue running under the foot and connecting the heel bone to the toes). There are many supposed treatments for such conditions, including the use of cortisone injections in your heel, but how effective is this method of treatment?
What Is a Cortisone Injection?
Cortisone injections are also called corticosteroid injections, which are basically an artificial version of the hormone cortisol. Therefore, "cortisone" and "steroid" have no difference, but you shouldn't confuse the two with illegal anabolic steroids that are designed to increase muscle mass. Cortisone is a type of steroid that lowers inflammation, leading to less pain.
How Does a Cortisone Shot Help Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory condition, and cortisone injections help by reducing the inflammation and pain for a temporary period. It is important to note that many foot conditions are caused by biomechanical dysfunctions of the foot. Thus, getting a cortisone shot is not a cure for plantar fasciitis.
The moment the positive effects of the cortisone shot start wearing off, the symptoms will start showing up if the cause of the disease has not been treated. This makes it neccessary to undergo a holistic treatment approach of physical therapy, podiatry, orthotic use, and other conservation treatment options.
How Long Does a Cortisone Shot Last in the Foot for Plantar Fasciitis?
The positive effects of cortisone shots typically last between 3 weeks and 3 months, but might last longer in certain circumstances. It all depends on the mg of cortisone given in one shot and the type of cortisone (long-acting or short-acting). Though if your cortisone shot for plantar fasciitis didn't work, you should know within the next few days.
Depending upon the stage of your plantar fasciitis (acute, sub-acute, or chronic), level of pain, and the results of prior conservative treatments, the general practitioner would decide on the injection dose, injection technique, and frequency of further injections.
Cortisone injections are usually only given only in chronic conditions with severe pain and after conservative treatment options have failed after 6-9 months.
For proper aftercare for your plantar fasciitis steroid injection, It is recommended to stay off your foot for about 30-60 minutes after the cortisone shot, and heavy exercises and overactivity should be avoided for the next 24-48 hours to reduce the recovery time and risk of bruising, pain, and other side effects.
What Are the Risks of Cortisone Injections in the Foot?
Initially, cortisone injections in the foot hurt considerably due to there being less soft tissue compared to the other body parts like the buttocks.
It is important to keep in mind that there are risks to every medical procedure, and plantar fasciitis steroid injections are no different. The risk of side effects from plantar fasciitis steroid injections increases with a higher injection dose and frequency, and are listed below:
Heel fat pad atrophyPlantar fascia ruptureDamage to the cartilage of the ankle and foot joints Infection of the jointsDamage to the nerves of the foot Weakening of the tendonsThinning of the skin and other soft tissues around the site of the injectionOsteoporosis of the surrounding bone Discoloration of the skin around the injection areaBruising and swellingTemporary aggravation in pain and inflammation of the joint
Are Cortisone Shots for Plantar Fasciitis Worth It?
Cortisone injections have always been a controversial topic of discussion. In order to give accurate advice, you have to consider the pros and cons of cortisone shots for plantar fasciitis, such as the high risk they present alongside their temporary benefit of potentially only a few weeks.
Therefore, it is recommended to go for cortisone shots only if all the other conservative management has failed after 6-9 months of doing it regularly, and only if your chronic condition is flaring up with a debilitating effect. Plantar fasciitisHow to Massage Plantar Fasciitis: Best Techniques and ToolsPlantar fasciitis remains a common cause of foot and heel pain. While there are many things to avoid with plantar fasciitis, massage is not one. Along with exercises for plantar fasciitis heel pain, they remain one of the most frequently used treatment procedures
This article provides a treatment guide for plantar fasciitis using massage as your primary tool.
Hand Massages for Plantar Fasciitis
Since plantar fasciitis pain is usually felt first thing in the morning, self-massages can be done before your step out of bed. Moreover, it is also essential to massage your feet at night while on the bed before going to sleep to take away all the stress and tension placed on your feet.
Listed below are a few hand massage techniques for plantar fasciitis.
Stroking and Effleurage Technique
Sit on the bed with your feet above the knee in a figure-4 position.Use the heel of your hand and your thumb to stroke the underside of your foot from the heel towards your toes.
Note: This can also be done using your knuckles, just make sure to adjust the pressure.Cover your full sole and your toes.Continue for 5-7 minutes on each foot for 1 set.Perform 2 sets per day.
Sit on the bed with your feet above the knee in a figure-4 position.With the pad of your thumb, push on the sore points of your sole in a circular motion (kneading).Knead each point for about 10 seconds, covering the whole foot (including the painless spots).Adjust the pressure to your comfort.Continue for 5-7 minutes on each foot for 1 set.Perform 2 sets per day.
Note: This can also be done with your knuckles if the pressure isn't too much to bear.
Cross Fiber Massage
Using the above method of stroking and kneading, massage the foot vertically from heel to toe, covering the full length of your arch.Then massage horizontally, from side to side, covering the width of your arch. Continue for 2-5 minutes on each foot for 1 setPerform 2 sets per day.
Using Massage Tools for Plantar Fasciitis
Massaging tools are commonly used as an at-home treatment method alongside other clinical treatments. The most frequently used is a ball and a roller.
Listed below are a few tool massage techniques for plantar fasciitis.
Ball Massage Technique
Sit on a chair or stand with support.Place a tennis or a therapy ball under the sole of your feet.Slowly and gently roll your feet on the ball back and forth from the heel to the toes with as much pressure as is bearable.A soft spike ball can also be usedContinue for 7 mins, once a day.
Note: A soft spike ball can also be used if it doesn't cause you pain to give yourself a deep tissue massage.
Massage Guns for Plantar Fasciitis
Massage guns are a new massage tool used for pain relief, muscle recovery, and relaxation. They have adjustable vibration settings and also come with a different knob for different parts of your body
They can be used for plantar fasciitis but should be done so with caution if you aren't a registered healthcare practitioner due to their high intensity and different functions. Deep tissue massages with a tool help in recovery from plantar fasciitis and should only be used for a maximum of 3 minutes and thrice a week.
There are several other tools like a plantar fasciitis massage roller, different types of balls, etc available in the market as products used in foot rehabilitation.
When Should You See a Podiatrist for Plantar Fasciitis?
It is recommended to visit your podiatrist when the pain is persistent and begins to restrict your movement. They may suggest a pair of custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis along with other conservative management (such as eccentric stretching) depending upon your foot type and individual need.
The sooner you see a healthcare practitioner and obtain treatment products, the faster your recovery from plantar fasciitis will be.
Does Foot Massage Help Plantar Fasciitis?
Massaging your feet for plantar fasciitis is a good way to relieve pain and relax your feet as it improves circulation. However, it is extremely important to know the right method to use. This way, you can avoid any flare-ups in your current pain level and prevent your condition from becoming exacerbated.
Firstly it is essential to know the correct method of massaging and when to do it. Also, know that when done incorrectly, massaging may aggravate the condition. With all massage types, be gentle to start with and increase the pressure if you feel comfortable to avoid inflicting pain. Additionally, the use of a moisturizer or oil helps avoid friction. Plantar fasciitisThings to Avoid With Plantar FasciitisPlantar fasciitis results from micro-tears and a thickening of the plantar fascia. This tightening of the ligamentous band at the sole of the feet causes pain. Despite the pain and discomfort it causes, exercises and stretches will offer pain relief, are important in managing plantar fasciitis, and could even prevent it.
Along with rest, ice, and custom orthotics (inserts/insoles) for plantar fasciitis, the stretches and exercises help address the discomfort and inflammation. They also improve muscle strength and promote flexibility in the foot. However, there are stretches and activities to avoid with plantar fasciitis. Not all exercises are helpful. Some will even make the pain and discomfort worse and should be abstained from totally. For example, a weight-bearing exercise that requires you to stand for long.
How to Know if You Have Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis causes significant pain and is easily self-diagnosable. While the exact presentation may vary from person to person, the symptoms of plantar fasciitis are classic. It is often described as a dull, stabbing pain in the heel that worsens with prolonged sitting or lying down. It’s usually aggravated with the first steps of the morning and can cover the bottom of the whole foot.
A professional opinion from a medical doctor may also help ascertain your diagnosis. This will require the person to assess your foot for tender points. With just this, the cause of the pain can be identified.
How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis
The good news is that plantar fasciitis is treatable. The bad news is that sometimes, in the most severe cases, the full recovery may take as much as six months. Once you have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, the doctor or physiotherapist will prescribe several activities that will help improve the pain.
Plantar fasciitis treatment begins with getting off your feet (rest) and treating the inflamed foot with ice. Most plantar fasciitis will resolve with this. If it doesn’t, deep massage, simple exercises, and stretches can help improve the condition. Alongside these conservational treatment approaches, you can also use custom-made orthotic devices to bring pain relief.
What Makes Plantar Fasciitis Worse?
Left untreated, the symptoms of plantar fasciitis will worsen, and the condition will become complicated. This can lead to a plantar tear, plantar rupture, plantar fibromatosis, and heel spurs, all of which are not amenable to conservative treatment.
The following are activities or actions that could make plantar fasciitis worse:
Not getting the foot enough rest after the onset of symptomsParticipating in high-impact exercisesWalking without proper footwear or supportAdding extra weightAvoiding treatment/ignoring the symptomsProlonged sleeping or sittingConsuming excess sugarHigh arches or flat feetTight calf musclesInjury to the tendon in the leg, ankle, or foot
4 Plantar Fasciitis Myths Debunked
1. Walking makes plantar fasciitis better
Walking aggravates plantar fasciitis. Walking can make plantar fasciitis worse if it involves walking on hard surfaces, walking too fast, wearing ill-fitting shoes, or for prolonged periods. So, you should try to avoid walking with plantar fasciitis whenever possible.
While an outright rest may not be possible, you should cut back on any activity that makes your foot hurt. Consider standing for shorter periods and walking a lot less. You can also do some short stretches to prep your legs for periods of work and have an Epsom salt soak down afterward.
2. High heels are suitable for plantar fasciitis
Theoretically, a shoe with an elevated heel should reduce tension on the plantar fascia and thus reduce pain. In reality, high heel shoes increase the direct compressive force on your heel because they do not distribute your weight evenly. They also do not provide adequate support to your foot. Wearing crocs with plantar fasciitis, on the other hand, could be very beneficial.
3. Massage guns don't help plantar fasciitis
Yes, massage guns do help plantar fasciitis. Using massage guns on the heel produces vibrations and causes a deep massage effect. This relieves the tension in the tight fascia muscles and delivers more blood to the area, aiding healing and reducing inflammation.
4. Arch supports don't help plantar fasciitis
Flat feet will worsen plantar fasciitis so, and so this should be avoided. Arch support helps you do just this, providing a cushioning effect and elevation to the foot.
Early diagnosis and management of plantar fasciitis will prevent avoidable complications. Stretches and exercises form a core part of that management plan, and while they’ll help pain relief, they must be approached with care. Properly performed, plantar fasciitis can be completely resolved.