Hi. I’m Larry Huppin, and we have a question today from our blog, which is, What is the best orthotic to treat heel pain There’s actually been some really interesting research looking at that very thing. At least, it’s interesting if I guess if you’re a podiatrist. But hopefully, you’ll find it interesting too. And what that looked at is what type of orthotic does the very best job of taking tension off of the plantar fascia So the plantar fascia is this thick band of tissue right here. It runs from the heels.
Up to the toes, and it helps keep the foot in an arch shape. Now, if your foot collapses more than it should, going from say here to here, to here, as that foot collapses down or flattens, it gets longer and longer. As it gets longer, you’re putting more tension onto the plantar fascia. As that fascia gets tight, it tugs more and more on the heel. So what this research has looked at, is they came along, they took cadaver legs, they put them in a machine that would flatten them down, taking them from here to here. Then.
They put a strain gauge within the plantar fascia, and then put different types of orthotic devices underneath it to see which ones took the most tension off of the plantar fascia. What they found is that those orthotics that conformed tightest to the arch of the foot, did the best job at taking tension off of the fascia. So if we look at this foot down here, here it is flattening down and as it flattens it gets longer, and that puts tension onto the plantar fascia. So we’re going to take this.
What are the Best Orthotics for Heel Pain with Seattle Podiatrist Dr. Larry Huppin
Orthotic right here. This is actually a prefabricated orthotic. Put it under the arch of the foot, and you can see, this one gaps away a little bit from the foot. So although it’s a good one, it still lets that foot collapse down, get longer, and you still have some increased tension on the plantar fascia. But it’s actually a very good overthecounter device, because it’s fairly firm and it’s got a fairly good arch. If you want to take even more tension off the plantar fascia, you can use a custom orthotic.
That conforms much tighter to the arch. The tighter it conforms to the arch, the less tension there is on the plantar fascia. In addition, there have been some additional studies that show that if you use an orthotic that stops the heel from rolling in, that also takes tension off the fascia. Because as the heel rolls in, that foot is forced to flatten out. So in this orthotic, we’ve found on that has a fairly deep cup around the heel, so it can apply force to the heel and help stop it from rolling in.