Home Without AJAX Forums Footcare Plantar fasciitis Insoles?

This topic contains 22 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Cliff 1 year, 6 months ago.

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  • #16246


    I went to see my GP today for my foot pain and apparently I have what appears to be start of plantar fasciitis. My GP was in a rush so didn’t really give much advice on how to treat it other than to keep my feet rested. Im guessing I will have to find out and stop whatever is triggering the overuse of my plantar fascia? but where do I start? I heard insoles work has anyone had any look with these? Custom or off the shelf which are better (I have a little theory that custom insoles will just over support your feet in the position that is causing your problems..but im no expert after all I have plantar fasciitis 😀 )? Has anyone else had plantar fasciitis? and what did you do to treat it?

    Currently I am out of action from doing any sports I love because of my foot pain… Oh well, at least its cold outside so I am not missing out too much.

    Help would be great. Thank you in advance!

  • #16247


    I’ve had it on and off over the years, mostly it was triggered from running. Stretching calves helps. Pain killers help. Soft soled shoes/trainers or insoles in sturdier shoes/boots. Never bothered with anything fancy, cheepy shop-bought 1/4″ gell/foam insoles without much structure were plenty to take the edge off it even when it was bad.

  • #16248


    @kate Thanks for your reply! Im so glad you mentioned cheaper alternatives as I have been looking at some of the custom insoles online and they are so expensive 😮

    Does plantar fasciitis ever fully heal or are you feet forever weakened somewhat?

  • #16249


    @martin Since my teens I’ve what can only really be described as tender feet. They bruise easily for want of a better description, I get quite a bit of toe joint pain including occasional toe and ankle gout flare ups, heels especially get very sore from standing or walking too much on hard ground. I can’t stand much pressure on the tendons (heel hooking, hard leather shoes against Achilles, running on sand etc). I still get odd sharp twinges of plantar ligament pain (basically cramp/tension related) but I haven’t had a proper limping and falling down when getting out of bed flare up in years. Soft shoes and a bit of rest when they’re sore manages them fine. Your experience may differ but mine seem quite manageable although my expectations are adjusted.

    Try the cheap insoles, you’ve nothing to lose. Stretching feet and calves especially and every time before getting up from chairs and bed to walk will yield the biggest gains in my experience.

  • #16250


    I’ve had plantar fasciitis and it was resolved by custom-made orthotics (got referred to NHS podiatry and they put a lot of effort into getting mine just right). But there are also exercises you can do as well to try to strengthen foot arches – probably best to talk to a specialist sports physio or podiatrist.

  • #16251


    @sammy Thanks for your reply. Did you get your insoles free from the NHS? If so did your plantar fasciitis have to be really deliberating and painful to get them? Good suggestion about exercises stretches, when I go running I often never stretch my feet as I dont actually know how to and maybe this made me more prone to getting it.

  • #16252


    @martin Yes, got them free from NHS; it was pretty debilitating, but the worst pain was in my knees, caused by my lack of arches – I couldn’t do any serious walking for about 8 months.
    You may find relief by gentle rolling the sole on something like a tennis ball or slim rolling pin, helps me when my instep is tender from distance running.

  • #16253


    @sammy An alternative to a tennis ball to roll under the painful area is a small orange juice bottle filled with water and then frozen.

    As a PF sufferer on several occasions you have my sympathies. Been out of serious running action for almost a year now with the latest bout. Lots of vitamin I, lots of stretching, failed physio, a steroid injection, more stretching and rolling with tennis ball and ice bottle, gel heel inserts and it’s still giving me grief. Custom orthotics are on order, but he didn’t spend long looking at my feet etc which is a bit of a concern.

  • #16254


    As an ex sufferer, you need 4 things:

    1) tennis ball

    2) cricket ball

    3) golf ball

    4)Some good insoles

    Every spare moment you get roll one of the above under the instep of your sole. Apply as much weight as your pain tolerance can bare at about 8/10 threshold. Work it and work it. Stretch your calves as often as you can too. Start with the tennis ball and work your way down the list as things improve. Do it as often as you can and if you’re feeling motivated add in contrast baths of iced water (10mins) and warm water (5mins) 3 or 4 times an evening. Waring some good arch support insoles is a must. I always wear footreviver insoles because I have found them the best for plantar fasciitis as they support my feet in just the right way.

    Stick with it and good luck.

    Ps do nothing and it won’t just get better on its own!

  • #16255


    Also just remembered, find a beach that has some fairly large pebbles on it and go for a nice long paddle in the sea. The cold of the water and the pressure of the stones on your insole are both very good for it

  • #16256


    Thanks for the tips guys, I will definitely try out the tennis ball trick for sure. I have seen spiky balls that you can buy would these help?

    Do I need to buy new shoes if I am going to fit a new pair of insoles inside for my plantar fasciitis? What sort of shoes are best to buy? Are tight shoes, loose shoes or no shoes best for this condition?

    Lastly, hearing all the stories about people having this condition for years has got me a bit concerned. Does having plantar fasciitis once make you more susceptible to getting it again.

  • #16257


    Had it for the last 18 months.

    Tried various insoles in my boots and ended up with some from this site. They helped, also got some private physio and do things like stand on the lip of a stair on just the ball of my foot and lower my body down then lift up, also place my foot against the wall with my heel on the floor and my toes up the wall and sort of lean in to it.

    It was agony for a year but its just a mild dull pain now.

  • #16258

    John Hill

    I have plantar fasciitis too. Tried most of the things mentioned! I’ve had it over a year now and it’s probably the best it’s been! Stretch it in a morning before getting out of bed, very important and I just have some heel lifts in my shoes now nothing else! I’ve stopped using insoles and tennis balls etc as didn’t seem to help!

    Good luck….

  • #16259


    I don’t have and have never suffered PF. However I have been wearing prosthetics in my shoes and boots since 1993 for knee pain.

    I originally had them hand crafted by an NHS podiatrist. Two years ago the knee pain started up again so I went back to a NHS podiatrist. Maybe because of cutbacks but this time all they did was stick a piece of plastic to the prosthetic. No discussion was made about their condition or if I needed new insoles made. I was most unimpressed.

    However I did discover that the original podiatrist I saw in 1993 had now gone private so I went to him.

    Long story shorter, new prosthetics hand made and no pain. Sadly this was not free.

    It set me back £150 + consultation fees. Worth every penny though.

    Just in case you could not get any help from NHS podiatrist.

  • #16260


    I bought some FootReviver insoles – expensive but as my GP told me (sadly I disbelieved him at first) they effected an immediate and huge improvement and the PF only returns now if I neglect wearing the insoles for a while. I do a lot of different outdoor activities and I wear them in ALL footwear for ALL shoed/booted activities, except rock climbing where I do without. Replace every couple of years, though I still have all my pairs and they have stood up to hard mountain days from the Lakes, the Alps, the Cuillin, including running down from the top of the Schilthorn to Murren in boots, running down the Sgurr Alastair Stone Chute, down the steep sides of Blencathra etc etc. Winter climbing, cycling etc.

    Lots of people say Superfeet are the best brand for insoles. Superfeet did NOT work, only slightly alleviating the pain and I’m entirely pain free now, starting from a point where getting out of bed every morning was very painful and I was worrying about giving up walking and mountaineering as I got considerable pain after a few hours out.

    Also, for the first time, it stopped me getting stubbed toes descending hills and helped my knees

  • #16261


    I’m an orthotist.

    The recognized approach with plantar fasciitis is to treat the underlying cause rather than plantar fasciitis itself. I’d suggest you get feet checked out by someone who has a specialism with feet. That might be a orthotist, podiatrist or possibly a physio. Where are you based?

    Insoles are popular but personally I think they are over-prescribed. The evidence that custom made insoles offer better outcomes than off the shelf is quite weak. The general principle with insoles is to apply an opposing force to the relevant structures of the foot in order to give relief. The old school theory from about 25 years ago was that insoles principally provided ‘correction’ to a neutral foot position. Despite the advancement of understanding, insoles are still regularly marketed as doing this. Off the shelf insoles are often perfectly fine for plantar fasciitis. Worth getting your feet checked out though so that there’s a clear treatment strategy. You might just need a few stretches.

  • #16262


    I’ve had plantar fasciitis and know how excruciatingly painful and debilitating it is. I went for the (expensive) high-arch custom orthotics route, but it didn’t help much.

    What really did help me was simply to loosen the laces on my boots along the upper above the arch (but tight at the ankle) so my feet could flex back and forth to their natural arched shape when walking. I found that the tight lacing was permanently flattening my feet to the point where it was putting a strain on the plantar fascia ligament underneath, causing the problem.

    Try walking around the house/office barefoot when you can. If the pain subsides or doesn’t get any worse, then it’s a good bet that tight lacing will be the culprit.

  • #16275


    Thank everyone for your great replies. One question about stretching… because plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury do you do stretches when your feet are still healing or after?

  • #16276


    @martin There is some suggestion that tight hip flexors could exacerbate plantar fasciitis, it wouldn’t do any harm to stretch them too in case that helps?

    The stretching exercises I was given by physio were to stretch the calf muscles and tendons to reduce over-tightness – this did help me but I have flat feet and collapsed arches from long ago (and heredity) so support essential and walking around in unsupportive footwear or with bare feet makes it worse for me.

    The pain getting up out of bed I believe is the tearing of tissue that has “healed” while resting and these exercises help to stop the “healing” of overtight tissues so in my case at least it was OK to begin as early as possible, but the root of the treatment for me was the insoles.

  • #16277


    Iv had this too as I have flat feet and do lots of running. Like most injuries you often need to treat the cause not the symptoms.

    Mine was always tight calfs that could be stretched and the problem resolved in time. During the pain I’d roll the foot on frozen water bottles and run on trails

  • #16278


    Ask your doctor explicitly if you’ve developed a bone spur or if ITS still soft tissue damage?
    I am a bit suspicious of insoles fixing much though it soudns like ltos of people have had success with them has obviously had great results? But off the shelf insoles? Why don’t you get decent, softer shoes to start with? Middle aged people on minimalist shoes get injuries shocker!

    @greg I would be wary that the hip flexor thing is correlation rather than causation – people doing a lot of hard miles will sometimes get sore legs and injuries , sometimes manifesting as of, sometimes hip flexors.

  • #16279


    @isac I do have a small spur, as shown by x Ray. Soon be time to get back to the doc to get an injection injection.

  • #16280


    I had really bad plantar fasciitis and the only thing that seemed to help me was wearing insoles. The basis on which I even tried the insoles was advice from the GP as his wife had had a similar dramatic improvement. He told me I’d feel relief immediately and I did not believe him and actually thought I was throwing my cash away.

    He (being a well known MRT member and working with the Air Ambulance) I thought I’d better listen to though, particularly as he said they worked for a lot of fell runners and other people he knew.

    I’d also advise that money spent on boots is well spent, lightweight is fine but always make sure the sole is sufficiently robust to support the foot and get a decent fit.

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