The other, more expensive, alternative is to invest in custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis. Custom orthotics are made by creating a plaster cast of the feet which is then used to design orthotics which compensate for any anatomical abnormalities such as low arches. This helps to ensure that the foot is adequately supported and that it hits the ground properly to avoid further stress to the heels. Unfortunately, custom orthotics can cost several hundred dollars and are usually not covered by insurance. If you want to look at a variety of other Plantar Fasciitis splints you can try an online specialist such as The Brace Shop Possibly plantar fasciitis is a “catch-all”phrase that may include flexor hallucis and medial calcaneal nerve problems aswell. Type 1 is not a fasciitis, but trauma of the fat pad. However, thislesion is often talked of as a fasciitis, so has been included under thisheading. Damage to the fat pad of the heel,which presents more often in the elderly. The fibrous stroma separates the fatinto compartments so that, during compression, the loculated fat is preventedfrom spreading and therefore acts as a good shock absorber. When the stromaweakens, the fat pad is less tightly contained and becomes functionallythinner, thus allowing impact to reach the calcaneal periosteum. An 'orthotic' or orthotic insole device inside the shoes can help restore the normal foot function. Also known as shoe inserts, the othotic insole device come in various types and can be purchased from pharmacies, reputable shoe stores and specialty websites. These can also be custom made as prescribed by a Podiatrist or bought off the shelf. Orthotics realigns the foot and ankle-bones to their natural position thereby correcting the problem of over-pronation. This restores our normal foot function that alleviates not only foot problems but also ailments in other parts of the body. There are certain other conditions that may be confused with the symptoms of plantar fasciitis Tarsal tunnel syndrome is one among them. A stress fracture of the heel bone, ruptured plantar fascia, rheumatological conditions, wearing down of the heel fat pad and problems with the circulation can cause pain in the heel. The doctor must be consulted if the pain persists for a long time, and the right cause of the pain must be diagnosed. X-rays or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may be ordered to check that nothing else is causing your heel pain, such as a bone fracture What Treatments Are Available for Plantar Fasciitis? Research in America, Europe and Australia has clearly proven that wearing an orthotic insole is the best way to treat Plantar Fasciitis, especially when combined with daily exercises. However, it must be noted that this treatment regime is mostly effective for people who have started to notice heel pain recently (i.e. no longer than 6-8 weeks ago)l or for people who only suffer mild Plantar Fasciitis pain. Icing after running can also be helpful. But long term use of ice only serves to mask the pain. Ice used in chronic conditions can quite possibly slow healing by decreasing the blood flow to the injured area. Foot Orthotics , is the only non-surgical therapy to have been supported by studies rated by the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine as being of high quality. Landorf et al. performed a single-blind experiment in which patients were randomly assigned to receive off-the-shelf orthotics, personally customized orthotics, or sham orthotics made of soft, thin foam. Patients receiving real orthotics showed statistically significant short-term improvements in functionality compared to those receiving the sham treatment. There was no statistically significant reduction in pain, and there was no long-term effect when the patients were re-evaluated after 12 months. Other symptoms include specific pin point pain at the heel, which often is easily noted. The pain often worsens as the day continues and is very quickly alleviated with rest. Also, the pain may progressively worsen over a period of months. Certain shoes may aggravate the condition as well. Obesity, shoe gear, work conditions , and foot type can all play a role in its development. However, if an athlete walks or runs in such a way that his or her foot overpronates —when the ankle leans too far inward at impact—the plantar fascia must compensate and absorb more stress than normal. In the images below the shoe on the left demonstrates a shoe that flexes at the correct part of the sole. The shoe in the image on the right flexes too far back on the foot. Varying areas of flexion that are too far proximal (back towards the heel) often line up with the tender part of the foot. Make sure your shoe bends at the ball of the foot. Keep in mind the other symptoms or the presence of other disorders to possibly be the cause of the heel pain. Seronegative arthropathies such as IBS, Reiter's disease, Psoriatic Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, and other conditions may cause heel pain. Fibromyalgia Wearing good shoes at all times is very important in treating plantar fasciitis and avoiding it in the first place. Often wearing badly fitting or constructed shoes can cause plantar fasciitis Avoid walking barefoot or wearing flip-flops as the lack of cushioning for the heel can damage the plantar fascia. The best shoes for treating plantar fasciitis should have low heels (for ladies, try to avoid any heels over 3 inches), a well-cushioned sole, and sufficient arch support. Many shoes tend to not have enough cushioning, particularly at the heelbone and front foot, and don't provide adequate amount of structural support around the arch and mid-foot.