Whether this is your first rodeo with heel pain and plantar fasciitis, or you’ve been around the block more times than you care to remember, you’ve certainly seen your share of gadgets and products that help treat and relieve pain from this common condition.
And while it’s certainly possible to spend your entire paycheck on a new pair of orthotic shoes or a deluxe massager, could you get the same relief at a better price?
We’ve compiled a list of the top products for treating and relieving pain from plantar fasciitis, complete with cost and effectiveness, to give you a better idea of when to splurge, and when save your dollars by using a less-expensive but equally effective alternative.
The good news is, fast, effective pain relief doesn’t have to cost much at all:
Icing is one of the best ways to reduce inflammation, swelling, pain, and redness caused by plantar fasciitis. But should you spend or splurge?
SPLURGE. In this case, spending a few dollars on a high quality ice pack made especially for icing the feet and heels is worth every penny. While saving a few bucks with frozen peas or a baggie full of ice and a paper towel might seem like a good idea at first, the end result is always messy and less than precise. Ice Pack Slippers, made especially for plantar fasciitis sufferers, are reusable, no mess, and keep the ice where you need it 100 percent of the time with full-sole coverage and handy straps.
How much do shoes for plantar fasciitis cost? The short answer is, a lot. But are they worth the splurge, or should you save up for something else?
SAVE. Not only are orthotic shoes for plantar fasciitis heavy and limiting in style. A pair of generic orthotic shoes can easily run you into the $200-dollar range, while a pair of custom orthotics can cost $400-$600. Fortunately, there’s an alternative that has been proven just as effective: high-quality, non-orthotic footwear paired with orthotic inserts (more on this, below!). Choose properly fitting footwear with plenty of cushioning and heel support, then just add inserts! You’ll get the same cushioning arch support and relief, without the price tag.
Check out these tips for finding the best shoes for plantar fasciitis.
How much should you spend on plantar fasciitis inserts? While expensive might seem to indicate better, it’s simply not the case–thank goodness!
SAVE. It’s possible to spend a LOT of money (think hundreds) on custom plantar fasciitis inserts. Thankfully, there’s a far less expensive but equally effective option: Heel Seats. These orthotic inserts are the only product on the market with Fascia Bar technology, which has been proven to improve healing by lifting and supporting the arch at the optimal level for healing, along with cushioning damaged feet and drastically improving pain.
Mobility and Stretching Tools
With a quick search, you’ll find all kinds of zany-looking gadgets that promise to stretch your feet and arches to their fullest potential. After all, stretching is one of the best ways to improve flexibility and strength in the arch and surrounding muscles and ligaments, as well as promote circulation and healing. But are the gadgets worth the cost?
SAVE. There’s no need for fancy stretching devices. All of the most effective stretches for plantar fasciitis can be done using common household objects, or just your own body.
Massage is another tried and true way to treat the pain from plantar fasciitis, by breaking up adhesions on the fascia and using pressure to numb pain signals. A professional massage feels great once in awhile, but to reap the full benefits of massage, you’ll want to use it more than once in awhile.
SAVE. Either use a tennis ball or golf ball for (nearly) free, or make a small investment in a washable Massage Ball made especially for plantar fasciitis. A Massage Ball has more give than a tennis or golf ball, resulting in more versatility and pressure-level options.
Compression socks can help improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and bring down swelling when plantar fasciitis and heel pain are present. And while it might seem like socks are socks, it’s worth it on this one to pay just a little extra to get truly comfortable, breathable compression socks that deliver just the right amount of compression throughout the day. Sure, it’s possible to snag a pair of compression socks for a few dollars less on Amazon, but because so many factors go into the perfect pair of compression socks, we recommend paying just a little extra for one of the only compression sock brands backed by a 100% money-back guarantee.
SPLURGE. Foot Health Socks $22.95 per pair
A good night splint boot can easily cost upwards of $50. This product works by keeping the foot gently flexed while you sleep or rest, improving flexibility, circulation, and greatly reducing the classic “morning pain” that plantar fasciitis sufferers endure. But when it comes to night splints, there’s two less expensive–and more comfortable–alternatives. Instead of using a bulky, heavy (and more expensive) boot, opt for a lighter weight, more comfortable night splint that offers the same stretch. Or use a sock night splint instead, which keeps the foot flexed at the perfect angle–without the boot!
Economical, fancy, or free, you have lots of options when it comes to choosing products to relieve the pain of plantar fasciitis. And at the end of the day, what matters the most isn’t the cost–it’s getting you back on your feet. But if you can save a little money without sacrificing quality, that’s money you can spend on something other than your feet!