What Causes Foot Problems?
The foot is composed of 26 bones, each of which is responsible for supporting a lot of force. Whether you spend a lot of time walking, climbing stairs, or even long periods simply standing, the foot absorbs a significant amount of pressure, making it subject to injury and chronic conditions. Examples of foot and ankle conditions that may benefit from heel and arch support include plantar fasciitis, flat feet, adult-onset fallen arches, achilles tendonitis, and heel spurs.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain in both men and women. The condition results when the fascia or tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes becomes irritated or inflamed. This heel pain type is typically worse in the morning and may improve as the day goes on.
What to do About Plantar Fasciitis?
Heel inserts, which are cup-shaped and designed to support and fit around the heel are often used to address plantar fasciitis. We carry a variety of different heel inserts that work with different shoes.
Do Flat Feet Need Arch Support?
Flat feet or fallen arches do not cause pain in every person. However, some people do experience discomfort due to flat feet because this can mean the tendons in the foot are loose, affecting foot movement. Orthotics with arch supports or arch supports that simply circle the arches are available to help relieve discomfort that can arise from flat feet.
Most people can benefit from added foot support, even if they do not experience a foot condition. Extra support for the heel and/or foot may help protect against injuries, tired feet and pain, especially for those whose occupations require long periods of standing.
Orthotics vs. Heel Supports
At drugstore.com, we carry both orthotic arch supports that fit the entire shoe and heel-only shoe inserts. The best option for you depends upon your foot condition. For example, if you have heel pain only and have a normal foot arch, a heel support may be all you need. However, if your feet hurt in multiple areas or your foot concern is arch-related, a full-insert orthotic may be preferred.
Types of Inserts
Heel and arch supports are available in a variety of materials, including foam, gel and leather. While all will support your foot, the gel cups typically have a pattern that gives them a massaging effect. The gel inserts are considered high-cushioning, meaning you may feel your heel sink slightly more than a foam cushion.
Foam and leather cushions are often called "memory" materials. As you wear them more, they start to mold to the shape of your foot. This can make for a comfortable, customized feel to your heel or shoe inserts.
In addition to heel and arch supports designed for when you are standing and active, drugstore.com also offers products to relieve heel pain while you are lying down or are seated. These include night splints for patients with plantar fasciitis. These splints flex the foot to stretch the plantar fascia, helping relieve pain.
Our comfort heel pillows are intended to help cushion the heels while you rest, preventing sensitive or painful heels from friction and pressure when the heels are on a bed or foot rest.
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