While heel inserts only cover half of the foot and offer support to, as it name implies, the heel, orthotic inserts provide your entire foot support, which makes them an ideal choice for those with certain conditions, such as Plantar Fascitis, and to compensate for those who suffer from foot inequalities or other similar afflictions.
Plantar Fasciitis is an affliction of the foot, characterized by an inflammation of the plantar fascia, with is a rugged band of tissue that connects your toes to your heel. This band lends support to your arch and also serves to absorb the shock from your daily activities. The inflammation in this tissue can cause unpleasant and uncomfortable symptoms, the worst being pain in the heel that often which often cause patients to limp. This pain is worse in the morning, and may decrease as the foot limbers up, but patients often remark that it gets worse when suddenly stretching the foot, such as when tip-toeing or going up a flight of stairs. This condition is believed to be cause by repeated micro-tears or small injuries to the planar fascia, with or without inflammation. You are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis if you work on your feet for prolonged periods of time, by using shoes with meager arch support and poor cushioning, by repeatedly and suddenly stretching the sole such as when a runner has poor technique when “starting off the blocks”, and so on.
Like any muscle and joint affliction, the symptoms will only get worse if the affected limb is not put to rest. Unfortunately, most people won’t have the time or the means to take some days off to rest. After all, we depend on our feet for virtually everything that we do. If resting is not an option, then orthotic inserts are the way to go.
The support provided by one of these instruments can provide great relief to people who suffer from plantar fasciitis and is paramount to the recovery process. In some cases, a heel lift can also do the job, but for those particularly nasty foot pains, full shoe orthotics are the way to go. The way these work is that they keep your arch supported and prevents it from flattening, which is the main cause of tearing and injuries of the plantar fascia. This support also corrects foot pronation (inward tilting) which may exacerbate the condition.
Heel lifts - also known as Heel Cradle Inserts, also serve to give support, but only to the heel, rather than the whole foot. These inserts are ideal for treating afflictions of the heel and to help correct the posture of the patient, which may also benefit the health of the ankles, knees and lower back.
Some types of Heel Cradle Inserts can be used to treat a condition known as Heel Spurs, which is characterized by several spike or hook shaped calcium formations located on the heel bone. While these spurs feel no pain themselves, they tend to get lodged in the fatty tissue beneath the heel, which in turn causes severe stabbing pains with every step of the affected foot.
Heel Spurs are believed to be created as a direct consequence of Plantar Fascitis. As the plantar fascia gets overexerted, it might begin to show the micro-tears that characterize the disease. The Heel Spurs are believed to be formed in the body’s attempts to provide extra support to the already-overstressed plantar fascia.
Treatment of Heel Spurs are varied, some going as far as to involve surgery. However, with a good heel lift, the tendons in the heel can slowly be realigned, reducing pressure on the plantar fascia and providing a good measure of relief to the patient. This, coupled with a good foot exercise and stretching routine, can cure Heel Spurs in time.
Gel insoles is a type of Orthotic Shoe Insert, designed mainly for use by women who frequently wear high heel shoes. Despite being aesthetically pleasing, and creating a visual illusion of longer, slender legs on the wearer, high heels are often associated with several negative consequences which, if used in excess, may even lead to serious conditions. Such negative effects include, but are not limited to foot and tendon pain, increased chance of sprains and even fractures, promoting the appearance of foot deformities such as bunions and hammer toes, predispose the wearer to degenerative knee disease due to the altering forces in the knee joints, and so forth.
Other less serious effects that alter functionality of the wearer may include the creation an unsteady gait on inexperienced wearers, the removal of the wearer’s ability to effectively run, the shortening of the person’s stride.
Fortunately, gel insoles were designed so that both woman and men can effectively use high-heeled footwear without suffering most of the negative consequences. For starters, they can prevent the scrunching of the toes, reducing the incidence of blisters. Some gel cushions can also provide support to the ball of the feet and prevent the fingers from sliding forwards. The arch support featured in the gel insoles can provide much needed relief and remove excessive pressure from your foot.
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