We talked last month about foot mechanics and how they relate to heel pain. A good orthotic is designed to provide control as your foot moves. Recent online articles, like the one cited below under related articles, try to say that doctors aren't sure why orthotics work. We're not sure what doctors they're talking about because your Austin Foot and Ankle Specialist have extensive training in implementing the right type of orthotic for their patients.  For the patient with plantar fasciitis, the orthotic can help decrease the strain on this ligament and is used in prevention as well as rehabilitation. This article only highlights one area of control that an orthosis offers.

The control custom inserts provide several points of control. A deep heel cup can also help w/ another type of heel pain.  Some heel pain is due to the forces placed on the fat pad beneath your heel. With years of pressure on your heel, this pad can become displaced from the proper position.   A good heel cup helps to keep the plantar fat pad under your heel bone in the right place for shock absorption. If you are a heel strike runner, you are putting 4 to 5 times your body weight on your heel every time you strike the ground.  This can be a contributing factor in addition to a number of reasons, including age and foot structure, that cause your fat pad to lack the amount of shock absorption you need.

Many running shoes have quite a bit of cushioning in the heel, but may do so at the expense of flexibility in the sole. The addition of heel pads can be an inexpensive and easy way to add cushion to your favorite running shoe. A cushioning pad placed underneath your orthotic or insole can do wonders to provide the additional absorption you require. These pads can dissipate the shock of your heel strike, making up for any deficiency in your plantar heel pad.  With proper cushioning, you can keep your run free of heel pain!

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