Dealing with foot or heel pain is difficult. Finding information about your options for healing and pain relief shouldn’t be!
At Heel That Pain, we live and breathe orthotics. But we know that many of our customers, especially those who are just learning about plantar fasciitis or heel spurs for the first time, have a lot of questions about what orthotics are, how they can help plantar fasciitis, how to choose the right option, and when it’s time to consider orthotics.
So, without further ado, here’s everything you ever wanted to know about orthotics!
What Are Foot Orthotics?
Put simply, orthotics are non-prescription inserts designed to sit inside your shoe and support your heel and feet. They can provide support, cushioning, and help prevent or relieve symptoms from a variety of disorders like plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, shin splints, knee pain, and tendonitis.
Many people choose slip-in orthotics as an alternative to orthotic shoes. Not only are orthotic shoes quite expensive, but they’re often heavy and come in limited style options.
Plantar Fasciitis and Orthotics
One of the most common reasons people consider foot orthotics is plantar fasciitis. This condition, which is caused by stress, lack of support, and damage to the plantar fascia (and the arch of your foot) and can make walking and other activities very painful.
Orthotics can be an important part of the equation in healing, since they provide additional support by stabilizing the heel, supporting the arch of your foot, absorbing shock, reducing the pressure to your heel, cushioning inflamed and stressed ligaments in your foot, and allowing you to heal.
When to Consider Orthotics
All too often, people endure pain far longer than they should–especially in the beginning, if the pain is happening intermittently or “isn’t too bad.” However, taking charge of your health and addressing these symptoms early is critical to keep symptoms from getting worse, and to reduce the amount of time it takes to heal. You should also be aware that when you’re dealing with chronic foot or heel pain, you may start to notice pain in your hips, back, or neck over time, as your body attempts to compensate for the pain you’re feeling in your feet.
It’s also a good time to consider orthotics if you haven’t dealt with pain yet but you love participating in high-impact sports like running, basketball, or football. If you’ve experienced sudden weight gain (especially from pregnancy) and your feet are dealing with extra stress and impact, orthotics are a great choice.
Whether you’ve just recently noticed pain in your heels or feet, or you’ve been dealing with chronic pain from plantar fasciitis, now is the right time to start healing or head off symptoms from developing.
Which Orthotic Inserts Are Right for You?
You have a lot of choices when it comes to orthotics. All orthotics at Heel that Pain include the patented Fascia Bar–a highly effective support system that is so unique, it was the first shoe insert awarded a patent in the space of 10 years. Not to mention that a double-blind clinical study conducted by the University of Iowa found that Fascia-Bar technology is twice as effective as the treatment method offered by a comparable leading brand orthotic!
But which type of orthotic is right for you?
Heel Seats: This is your classic orthotic insert. It uses acupressure to relieve pain while supporting your foot. If you have average arches (not especially high or low), this is the insert for you.
Gel Heel Seats: This insert is similar to the classic Heel Seat, except it’s made out of gel. If you have extra sensitive feet, it’s a great choice.
Full Length Heel Seats With Arch Support: Do you have high arches? These full-length inserts are designed especially for you and support high arches. Full Length Heel Seats with Arch Support are also great if you experience most of your pain in the arch of the foot.
Orthotics for Heel Spurs
Heel spurs often develop in response to a damaged or flattened arch. These small, sharp calcium deposits on the heel bone are the body’s attempt to prop up the damaged fascia. As heel spurs grow, they may protrude into the fatty pad of the heel, causing intense pain and damage.
Heel Spur Orthotics work by cushioning, supporting, lifting, and physically re-stretching the plantar fascia ligament while applying targeted acupressure to stop pain. They also structurally support the heel bone, thicken the fatty pad of the heel, and prevent the arch from collapsing under the impact from walking, running, and jumping. Heel spur inserts have been clinically proven to reduce pain and treat heel spurs, often eliminating the need for costly and painful medical interventions.
Keep in mind that not all Heel Spur Orthotics are created equal. The best insoles for heel spurs are cost effective, durable, and specifically designed to target both the symptoms and the causes of heel spurs. Look for thick (rather than flimsy) inserts for heel spurs that don’t collapse or fold easily. And research carefully to separate marketing lingo from clinically effective features!
How to Wear Orthotics
The first thing you should know about slip-in orthotics is that you should wear them over the original insoles of your shoes (some custom orthotics require you to remove the insoles of your shoes). Then simply slip in the orthotics, so they rest snugly against the back of your shoe.
The second thing you should know about wearing orthotics is that your shoes still matter! Make sure the shoes you’re wearing have a cushioned sole and that your heel isn’t sliding around. Bad shoes + good orthotics isn’t a good combo!
The third thing you should know about wearing foot orthotics is that it might take you a little time to adjust. Break them in gradually, wearing them for a couple of hours the first day, a few more the second day, and so on until you’re wearing them full time after about a week.
How Fast Do Orthotics Work?
The time it takes for your orthotics to begin working will depend on the type you purchase as well as the unique anatomy of your foot. With Heel That Pain products many people have an immediate reduction in heel pain from the moment they begin using them. However, others may feel a gradual decrease in pain, taking as long as a month.
If you have been using Heel Seats for more than a month and do not notice an improvement in heel pain, contact Customer Support – our specialists can help identify potential sizing issues, or if there is another product that might be more effective.
Orthotics: A Step in the Right Direction
At Heel That Pain, our goal is to get you back on your feet–literally. We’re so sure our slip-in orthotics will make a world of difference in your symptoms from plantar fasciitis, we offer a money-back guarantee. (You can read happy reviews from customers like you here!)
There are a few things you should know about orthotics, but at the end of the day the most important thing you should know is that they’re a cost-effective, simple way to help you live a happier, comfortable life!