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10 Tools for Treating Plantar Fasciitis Reviewed

last updated Sep 20, 2018

A while ago, I wrote an article which mentioned a few exercises for treating plantar fasciitis, so today we will continue this topic with another aspect of treating plantar fasciitis: which tools are best for helping you to lessen your pain or discomfort.

Running, walking, biking, or just accomplishing your day to day activities can be excruciating if you suffer from plantar fasciitis, especially if you are working out or are super busy first thing in the morning. Dealing with sharp, intense pain in your feet is no way to live your life, and even worse, plantar fasciitis left untreated can possibly lead to other problems and ailments in your legs, knees, and hips.

There are a wide variety of treatment options for healing your plantar fascia, and the options contained in our list of Best Tools to Treat Plantar Fasciitis are great, cost-effective ways to start.

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Last Updated: August 10, 2018
By Sarah Coryell:

During our regular review, we have updated our product review list to ensure you are getting only the very best in product reviews and recommendations. Read our review criteria for useful information about plantar fasciitis and the various product listed in our guide. In the FAQs section, you will find very useful information and answer to some of the most common questions that we have received from runners just like you.

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The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.4
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Use
96%
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91%
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95%
Accessories
82%
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89.6
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88%
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88.2
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86%
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83%
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In Depth Review Top 10
  • Night Splint
  • SOUL Insole
  • YogaToes GEMS
  • Icy Feet PF Relief
  • Moji 360 Foot Massager
  • Orthaheel Relief (Full-Length Orthotic Insole)
  • BRD Sport Ankle Plantar Fasciitis Brace
  • Thera Cane Massager
  • Yamuna Body Rolling Foot Saver
  • Elgin Archxerciser
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Best Tools for Treating Plantar Fasciitis

1. Night Splint

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.4
Night Splint
Price
98
Use
96
Comfort
91
Accuracy
95
Accessories
82
best offer for today
Pros:

Effectively maintains appropriate pressure while you sleep, prevent the plantar fascia from shortening when not in use

Soft interior padding helps with comfort

Allows limited mobility if necessary

Cons:

Not easy for some people to sleep in, especially for those who sleep on their side

The last tool which I would like to recommend for runners with plantar fasciitis is using a night splint. It is widely promoted among runners to help heal plantar fasciitis because of its effectiveness in alleviating the soreness in the arch and heel area. There are many different kinds of night splints to choose from on the market today, and the guide linked above will help you find one that best fits your needs and lifestyle.

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Stability

Designed with three straps that use buckles for closure, this system will provide you with a ton of stability. The straps are also padded for your added comfort

Breathability

Lightweight and with a very low profile your feet will be kept cool and dry with the breathable construction. The openness of the splint will ensure air flow so your feet will be comfortable.

Cost and Value

This product will allow you to get the therapeutic support for Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendonitis passively as you can wear this when you sleep. Your ankle will be kept immobile in the neutral position needed to help stretch out your calf muscle.

2. SOUL Insole

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
SOUL Insole
Price
88
Use
97
Comfort
95
Accuracy
90
Accessories
78
best offer for today
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Pros:

Compact yet effective design

Easy to change between different footwear

Also an ideal option for flat feet or even higher arches

Cons:

Some expected the product to be a bit smaller

We tried this one out for flat feet, but it is also a very effective tool to include when dealing with Plantar Fasciitis. The Shoe Bubble from Soul Insole is a reasonably new addition to the market, yet already has a decent following. And we would bet that following isn't there just because!

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Midfoot support

Instead of a full-length insole, this one simply adds the midfoot support that is required for proper alignment, which is vital in the treatment of the particular issue that we are focusing on here. In addition, to support, These will offer a bit more protection from the shock received from foot strikes, properly holding up the center of the foot.

Reusable

One little thing that we really like about this product, is the fact that there isn't a need to buy in multiples. You can use them in your other shoes, simply by swapping them over.

Cost and Value

The Shoe Bubble can also be fit into footwear that already has a factory insole inside if it is the type that is removable. All you need to do is place the product underneath the insole and you're good to go. The sticky bottom side work really well to keep it in place. If it gets dirty, well that's not really a problem either. Just wash it off in the sink and let it dry. The adhesive side will return to its original stickiness. This is a very practical product.

3. YogaToes GEMS

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.4
YogaToes GEMS
Price
93
Use
89
Comfort
87
Accuracy
90
Accessories
88
best offer for today
Pros:

Increases flexibility

Helps to straighten and strengthen toes

Additionally effective against bunions and other foot issues

Cons:

Not a quick fix, like some expected

YogaToes Toe Stretchers upgrades position, stamina and foot response. The more frequent the use of the Toe Stretchers, the faster you will see results and experience relief from your Plantar Fasciitis. If you feel pain after wearing the toe stretchers for extended periods of time, it is best to segment the wear into many short treatment sessions over the course of the day or the week.

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Alignment

Moreover, they help to reconstruct bone, tendon and tissue misalignment. These Toe elasticizes are fitted into the spaces between your toes to put free your course.

Noticeable improvements

If you use them routinely, you will see an adjustment in the quality of your running foot strike and an improvement in the overall condition of your plantar fasciitis.

Cost and Value

While some may find these to be awkward at first, it won't take long to get used to them. Stretching out the toes actually feels really great. You can feel confident in the effectiveness of this product, it is after-all, doctor recommended.

4. Icy Feet PF Relief

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Icy Feet PF Relief
Price
85
Use
93
Comfort
95
Accuracy
90
Accessories
82
best offer for today
Pros:

Also ideal for bone spurs, muscle strain, cramping, and inflammation

Engineered insole design

Maintains continuous contact while worn

Easy to clean and reuse

Cons:

Might not be ideal for those with shoe sizes over US 12

In case you are among the hundreds of individuals who are suffering from foot curve, chaffed feet, or collagen build up as a result of plantar fasciitis, this tool is a great option for offering some pain relief.

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Inflammation relief

This product will help you with the painful inflammation because it is cold, so it will prevent swelling and water retention in the affected areas.

Lasting cooling capacity

It also stays cold for a considerable amount of time and you can easily wear it around the house while completing other tasks or chores. As an added convenience bonus, the cleanup is very easy: simply rinse with mild detergent and lukewarm water, wipe dry, and put it back into the freezer until you are ready to use it again.

Cost and Value

Easy to use and maintain, this product will certainly provide you with the pain relief you are looking for if you are suffering. The ability to maintain coolness can be a huge help for inflammation that adds to the discomfort. That coolness is also fairly soothing.

5. Moji 360 Foot Massager

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.2
Moji 360 Foot Massager
Price
87
Use
92
Comfort
93
Accuracy
83
Accessories
86
best offer for today
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$39.99
Best deal
$39.99
Best deal
$40.00
Best deal
Pros:

6 balls that rotate 360 degrees

Designed to penetrate deep muscle tissue to help relieve pain and soreness

Slip-resistant bottom

Also effective in reducing inflammation, decreasing cellulite and breaking up areas of scar tissue

Cons:

Effectiveness is limited for some due to the small portable size

The little balls are utilized to knead the plantar belt. The larger balls are ideal for working the foot curve, and likewise, can be used to make a more profound back rub along the foot. It diminishes foot torment quickly, and rubs and extends the whole plantar sash for the most successful treatment. This creative back rub device is a spectacular expansion to my stockpile of deterrent methodologies and solutions for managing plantar fasciitis.

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Active relief

This little device is complete heaven on the foot. It can provide much-needed pain relief in two ways. Through the cooling benefit of ice, as this can be put in the freezer and frozen, as well as through stretching and massaging the whole plantar fascia.

Complete massage

Designed with 6 spheres, you can be sure that your whole foot will be massaged.

Cost and Value

This product is super easy to use and gives you dual therapeutic support. It is slip-resistant so you don’t have to worry about fussing with it just to get the use out of it. Take a seat and relax as you message and cool down your aching feet.

6. Orthaheel Relief (Full-Length Orthotic Insole)

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Orthaheel Relief (Full-Length Orthotic Insole)
Price
94
Use
88
Comfort
86
Accuracy
89
Accessories
82
best offer for today
Pros:

Relieves pain

Cost effective compared to custom orthotics

Fits into most footwear

Cons:

Some report the arch is too high

The Orthaheel Relief insole is a perfect option for constant, everyday relief. It can be inserted into any shoe--whether it be a running shoe, work boots, or casual shoes. This insole provides you with constant pain relief for your Plantar Fasciitis symptoms.

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Prominent results

This full-length insole is one of the top-rated insoles available for Plantar Fasciitis. There is nothing better than a piece of equipment having a quality reputation for effectiveness and quality.

Easy to use every day

They are perfect for shoes without pre-existing built-in cushioning, and will fit in almost any shoe--so they are perfect for everyday use. Its' gel insole will provide you with instant pain relief and their consistent use will eventually lead to a resolution of your symptoms.

Cost and Value

Custom orthotics can get expensive. This product will give you all the support of its costly competitors without the large price-tag. Designed by a podiatrist, these will work just as well and they are convenient to use.

7. BRD Sport Ankle Plantar Fasciitis Brace

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.8
 BRD Sport Ankle Plantar Fasciitis Brace
Price
78
Use
91
Comfort
93
Accuracy
88
Accessories
84
best offer for today
Pros:

Effectively helps to alleviate chronic pain brought on specifically by plantar fasciitis

Lightweight and breathable

Also good at reducing swelling

Cons:

A bit expensive

This brace effectively reduces acute and even chronic heel and arch pain. It has a strap which wraps around the middle of the foot in order to provide support through the arch.

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Practical to wear

It can be conveniently worn under socks and fits into most shoes, including into the average pair of running shoes. It is important to note that the size of a brace is NOT based on your shoe size. One needs to follow the measuring and sizing information of the product in order to order the correct size.

Pain relief

If you suffer from pain that comes and goes or pain that is constant, this is the product for you. The superb support that you will get is worthwhile to help you manage walking, running, and standing comfortably.

Cost and Value

It is on the higher side, but investing in your health is never a bad thing. The massive durability and support you will get will pay off in the end.

8. Thera Cane Massager

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.4
Thera Cane Massager
Price
94
Use
85
Comfort
83
Accuracy
84
Accessories
86
best offer for today
Pros:

Ideal tool for loosening knotted muscles by yourself

Unique design allows easy use without help

Includes detailed guide on how and where to use it

Cons:

A bit hard for some people

This tool is simply the straightforward yet a very powerful massager which relaxes your throbbing pain. It separates strain up to the unreachable muscle zones by putting weight upon muscles that improve the stream of blood rich in oxygen. Furthermore, it also reinstates muscle capacity and makes the muscle work all the more effective.

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Versatile

This product can be used on any aches and pains you may be feeling. Sure, this is advertised to be a great foot massager, but don’t think that is the only thing it can help with. If you have back pain, you can surely use it to manipulate the hip and alleviate that pain as well.

Easy to use

All Thera Cane products have detailed instruction booklets for you to learn proper use from. In no time at all, you can take this product and figure out how to make it the most effective in treating your pain.

Cost and Value

This product is by no means cheap. It is made of tough, durable materials but the price certainly won’t break the bank. It is straightforward and easy to use for all your body pain woes.

9. Yamuna Body Rolling Foot Saver

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Yamuna Body Rolling Foot Saver
Price
90
Use
84
Comfort
83
Accuracy
87
Accessories
86
best offer for today
Pros:

Helps with alignment issues of the lower body

Helpful in improving posture

Effectively increases strength in feet

Cons:

Requires some balance

These plastic semi-spheres are quite handy when it comes to mechanically enhancing foot-work and promoting oxygen to your aching foot tendons. The Yamuna Body Rolling Foot Saver Kit is definitely a great choice if you are left alone to give yourself a foot massage.

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Overall body adjustment

The Yamuna Body Rolling Foot Saver Kit helps fix foot problems by relaxing the foot, and improving posture in the arch area, (which is especially crucial for people suffering from plantar fasciitis or shin splints). Be cautious during your first time using them. To ensure safety, you should put your hand on a wall, door frame, or other nearby objects to ensure you can keep your balance.

Supplemental resources provided

They incorporate foot rescue circles and an instructional DVD. The DVD itself is easy to follow and provides great explanations for what movements to incorporate into your massage routine that are both beneficial to healing your plantar fasciitis and pleasant.

Cost and Value

This product will provide your body with a ton of improvements and adjustments all over so that you can live more balanced. Just a word of caution when using this product, it is a good idea to wear your socks high on your ankles if you choose to wear socks while using this product. If your socks are too loose on your foot and slip down your ankle or ball up around your heel, it is likely that you will slip on the ball and not be able to get adequate traction. If one uses it barefoot, they may have to be a little more patient with changing poses, as the rubber on the ball might stick to your feet, causing you to become unbalanced and potentially resulting in a nasty fall!

10. Elgin Archxerciser

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.8
Elgin Archxerciser
Price
92
Use
83
Comfort
80
Accuracy
79
Accessories
80
best offer for today
Pros:

Ideal supplemental tool to help build more foot strength

Compact design

Effective treatment for plantar fasciitis and heel spurs

Cons:

Not enough resistance for some

Foot strengthening is essential when it comes to mending issues with the plantar belt. This gadget fortifies your toes and arch. Indeed, this equipment depends upon the ‘wipe munches’ activity (an activity whereby one places their foot on a towel and cuddle your toes, which creases the towel).

The advantage over towel munches is that you have a wider range of movement in your toe flexion. Using it alongside orthotics day after day is a handy solution to healing your plantar fasciitis pain. You will start to experience undeniable change and relief!

Read more

Strengthens feet

If you have had surgery and need to rehab your foot or you have chronic pain due to weak feet, this product can help you build up your stability and endurance. This is also suitable for people who must stand for extended periods of time and need to have natural support.

Treats many ailments

This product will help build the strength and endurance of your foot which can help aid many ailments you may have. Whether you have plantar fasciitis or heel spur syndrome, you can benefit from using this model for exercising the foot.

Cost and Value

Sometimes all you need to have is weak feet and the lack of support can cause radiating pain all throughout your lower body and even back. For example, shin splints can be directly caused by feeble, unsteady feet that are propping you up when you have to stand for long periods of time.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Price

All of the tools on our list are relatively affordable and cost-efficient options for relieving your plantar fasciitis pain and contribute to overall total healing. The tools on our list range from about ten dollars (i.e. the Thera Cane Massager) all the way up to seventy-five dollars (the BRD Sports Ankle Plantar Fasciitis Brace). The differences in price are mainly because of what all the tool can do. For example, the massaging tools are certainly helpful but in terms of stability and helping you to heal while you go about your day, their effectiveness is limited.

But the tools on the higher end of the price spectrum, such as the ankle brace and the boot, will provide stability and support to your aching arches, and allow you to continue your day with minimal interference. Plus, they don’t take any effort on your part other than just putting them on (whereas a massager or a roller can take some discipline and might be uncomfortable or unpleasant.) While the price range of our tools might seem drastically large, when compared to other intense medical procedures to help heal your plantar fasciitis, the tools on our list will be a great solution if you just cannot take the pain of your plantar fasciitis anymore but are on a more limited budget.

Use

Pain in your plantar fascia is obviously a telltale sign of having plantar fasciitis. However, arch pain and heel pain, especially after exercises that include walking, jogging, or running, or prolonged periods of standing or sitting, may also be a symptom of having heel spurs or flat feet. So how do you know the difference? How do you distinguish between the three? A heel spur occurs when calcium builds up on the underside of the heel bone.

This can happen for a myriad of reasons, including repeated strain on the foot muscles and ligaments and tearing of the membrane that covers the heel. Fortunately, heel spurs are often not painless but when they are, they may be an indicator of also having an inflamed plantar fascia. So if you have heel spurs and they are painful, then chances are you also have plantar fasciitis.

But you do not necessarily have to have heel spurs to have plantar fasciitis. Flat feet are similar in that people with flat feet often develop plantar fasciitis because flat feet tend to overpronate as they walk because the arch collapses as the foot rolls forward, which puts increased pressure and weight on the plantar fascia. However, plantar fasciitis does not ALWAYS occur because of flat feet; in fact, people with high arches are also at an increased risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Therefore, both flat feet and heel spurs are often associated with leading to plantar fasciitis, but not everyone who has plantar fasciitis has either heel spurs or flat feet.

Although all the products on our list will help your plantar fasciitis heal, some methods require more discipline and time before you will actually start to see results and experience relief. You should ask yourself how much time you have and are willing to dedicate to fully recovering before you purchase a tool.

For example, most massagers and rollers are a great option because they are typically on the lower end of the price spectrum and they have multiple uses aside from aiding in plantar fasciitis. Yet, because you can’t spend all day massaging your feet and easily incorporate it into your lifestyle while you are doing other activities (like you could by wearing a brace or splint). Therefore, massaging and rolling methods might take longer to fully heal your plantar fasciitis than wearing a brace or splint that provides constant arch support and tension relief.

Comfort

There is no denying that plantar fasciitis itself is painful. However, some of the methods for treating it have been known to be a bit uncomfortable as well. For instance, ice baths are widely promoted to aid in recovery after tough workouts, and even to help heal plantar fasciitis because they reduce the inflammation that is commonly associated with it. But if you have every completely submerged yourself into an ice bath, you know that it can be borderline excruciating (though extremely effective).

Massaging, rolling, and stretching can not only take serious self-discipline on the part of the patient but if you have really tight muscles or a very serious case of plantar fasciitis, then these methods might be painful for you. If you typically have a low pain tolerance, then you might be better suited to purchase a splint or brace that “does the work for you” by providing support and relief without much effort on your part.

Accuracy

There are a lot of options on the market today for healing your plantar fasciitis, but no matter how which option you choose, how much or how little you spend, and how “cool” the tool seems to be, it does no good if it does not actually work. It needs to be effective, and ease your aching plantar fascia, provide relief, and ultimately lead to a healed arch (with no or significantly reduced heel pain and inflammation).

A temporary band-aid (both figuratively and literally speaking) simply will not cut it. Plantar Fasciitis pain is serious and you need reliable relief. The tools on our list will actually help to heal your plantar fasciitis, often saving you from the cost, pain, recovery time, and overall inconvenience of opting for more intrusive methods like surgery, stem cell injections, or a Tenex procedure.

Accessories

If you work a job or lead a lifestyle in which supportive, close-toed shoes are warranted and acceptable, then you are fortunate enough to help speed up recovery simply by wearing your typical attire. Shoes that have thick and padded soles and offer feet support and protection are the best bet for seeing the fastest and quickest results when you are actively using one of the tools on this list to help heal your plantar fasciitis. However, if you are a working woman who wears heels to work or just throughout your day, then you have reason to be extra cautious.

The problem with high heels is that they distribute your weight unevenly so that your arch is forced into an unnatural, uncomfortable position that strains it and puts you at a higher risk for tearing the plantar fascia and causing inflammation. And, in general, high heels typically don’t offer the most supportive soles. However, if you ARE wearing high heels on a regular basis, it is suggested that you switch over to flats only gradually. If you quit wearing high heels too abruptly and make the switch to flats all at once, your arch (which is already weakened from regular high heel usage) might not be strong enough to absorb all the shock it would be exposed to in flat shoes. Try instead gradually decreasing the height of your shoe over the course of several weeks.

Other Factors to Consider

Use

When it comes to treating plantar fasciitis, there are many different methods. From going under the knife to simple techniques you can easily incorporate into your day, you can find a wide range of options. But our list, in particular, focuses on those options you can practically do yourself while at home (or, in some cases, even when you are on the go at work, at school, or driving around town).

Massage Treatment

The first method we focused on was the massaging and/or rolling method. In general, massage has several benefits for athletes and non-athletes alike. Not only does massage have a very calming, psychological effect that helps reduce overall stress and, decrease heart rate, and lower cortisol levels, but its physiological benefits have recently been promoted among many reputable sources.

Massage works to dilate blood vessels and increase the circulation of blood flow from the heart to the points and places being massaged. As a result, increased levels of oxygen can flow to these places, which means a greater amount of nutrients delivered there, and the quicker removal of waste products and toxins. Furthermore, increased oxygen to muscles means more relaxed muscles and greater circulation of lactic acid out of muscles and muscle tendons, to help relieve soreness.

Finally, and largely to the benefit of those suffering from plantar fasciitis, massage helps reduce inflammation. Because one pain triggering symptom of plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, reducing inflammation can help reduce pain. Massaging your aching feet will help conduct increased blood flow to the tendons and ligaments in your feet, including to the plantar fascia. The repeated massage movements will slowly start to stretch the plantar fascia, and that is a good thing! You want the arch of your foot to be loosened so that it can properly serve its function of absorbing shock with each step you take. The method of rolling has similar effects on the plantar fascia and your feet as massage does.

The only real difference is the motions themselves that are associated with massage and with rolling are different (and self-explanatory: massage typically involves deep kneading and pushing of the pressure points while rolling involves some spherical object that is literally rolled over the pressure point). The products on our list that feature the massage or rolling method include the Body Back Company Foot Roller and Porcupine Massage Ball, the Massager Thera Cane, the Foot Massager Moji 360, and the Yamuna Body Rolling Foot Saver, Kit.

Stretching and Strengthening

The second method of treatment we considered included those devices dedicated to stretching and strengthening the plantar fasciitis tendon. As an athlete, the benefits of regularly stretching are far-reaching. Specifically, recent studies have shown that dynamic stretching is the best way to go because it uses active movements that mimic the movements used in the sport or exercise you are about to participate in to stretch the muscles.

In this way, you warm up your cold muscles in a particular motion that you will be engaging in, which not only releases oxygen and increases blood flow to the muscles but helps prepare you mentally for the movement you are about to do. (For example, dynamic stretches that involve kicking the air or kicking your butt will help runners warm up best since the running stride is a combination of these two movements.

Dynamic stretching involves actively stretching muscles, as opposed to static stretching, which typically involves little to no movement of the body while stretching in place.) In the end, dynamic stretching allows you to perform at higher levels, faster and with more explosive movements. And over time with repeated use, you will begin to see a greater range of motion. In a similar way, stretching the plantar fascia tendon as well as neighboring muscles (i.e., the calf muscle) will help relieve pain because it is tight muscles that can cause plantar fasciitis in the first place. In order to perform its function of absorbing shock, the plantar fascia has to be loose, but strong.

If it is too rigid, it will not be able to absorb shock in the same way. Similarly, the “toe scrunch” method of strengthening will help build up the plantar fascia’s strength, so that it can endure more shock (i.e. more intense and longer workouts, greater body weight, etc.) without becoming inflamed and causing heel pain. The stretching and strengthening tools on our list include the Elgin Archxerciser Foot Strengthening Device, the Strassburg Sock, and the YogaToes Toe Stretchers.

Mechanical Intervention

The third and final treatment we considered was stability and taking off the pressure placed on the plantar fascia by wearing a boot, special shoe, or brace. A walking boot will help reduce tension on the plantar fascia by allowing the boot or shoe itself to absorb the majority of the shock that the plantar fascia would typically be absorbing. This enables the plantar fascia time to rest and to heal, but wearers can still walk around, move freely, and participate in the most day to day activities. (Plus, because you are wearing the device and it is moving around with you, it provides for continued support which will increase the time it takes to fully heal.)

Depending on the severity of your pain, you could see results in as little as one to two weeks with regular use of a boot or brace. If your plantar fasciitis is a very severe case, increase the amount of support and stability to the plantar fascia by inserting an additional gel sole insert into the boot or brace to provide additional support to your foot arch. The products in our list that focus on providing stability and support to the plantar fascia to heal your plantar fasciitis are the Icy Feet ICEFP Plantar Fasciitis Relief, the BRD Sports Ankle Plantar Fasciitis Brace, the Gel Heel Seats, and any form of a night splint that you choose.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What exactly IS Plantar Fasciitis?
a:

To answer that, we must first answer the question of, ‘what is the plantar fascia?’ The plantar fascia is the flat ligament that runs alongside the bottom of the foot from the heel to the toes, supporting your arch. Its main job is to help absorb the shock of your foot hitting the ground as you walk, jog, or run. Plantar fasciitis, then, is when this ligament becomes inflamed, swollen, and tender due to a strain or tear. When the plantar fascia is inflamed, it cannot properly absorb the shock of your gait and can be very painful when you try to walk, jog, or run.

q: What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
a:

The most common symptom or sign of having plantar fasciitis is a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot while walking or running, or first thing in the morning upon waking up. It is usually not a dull pain, but rather, very sharp and leave your whole foot feeling stiff. It is important to note that if you are experiencing intense foot pain in the evenings or at night, it is likely NOT plantar fasciitis but perhaps arthritis or some form of nerve problem.

q: What are the best methods for treating plantar fasciitis?
a:

Obviously, any of the tools and methods presented on our list are terrific at home options for helping cure your ailing plantar fasciitis. For cheap, easy, and convenient treatment methods, opt for massaging, rolling, stretching, icing, and stabilizing your plantar fascia. However, if these do not work and you are interested in looking into more serious medical treatments, the most common for plantar fasciitis are a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection, stem cell injections, a Tenex procedure, and shockwave therapy. Both PRP and stem cell injections are nonsurgical methods but differ in that PRP injections involve using the patient’s own blood and stem cell injections use stem cells as well as platelets.

In PRP injections, the platelets in the patient’s blood are separated and then re-injected back into the plantar fascia, which naturally promotes growth and healing. For stem cell therapy, stem cells from bone marrow or fat tissues are used alongside the patient’s platelets to produce cartilage and promote healing. The Tenex Procedure is used commonly to help heal soft tissue injuries, such as plantar fasciitis, by breaking down accumulated scar tissue. A small tool is inserted into the injured ligament and ultrasonic energy targets scar tissue and break it down.

This procedure is also minimally invasive, and quick (usually not longer than fifteen minutes). Finally, shockwave therapy is used in patients with a history of chronic ligament pain. It uses low- energy and high – energy forms of shockwaves to cause “microtrauma” to the injured ligament, stimulating a natural healing response. Low- energy shockwave procedures usually take a few rounds of therapy but are virtually painless, while higher energy shockwave procedures occur during one treatment session and can be quite painful.

q: Who is most at risk for plantar fasciitis?
a:

Plantar fasciitis is most commonly found among runners and athletes who incorporate running or jogging long distances into their sport. However, it is also commonly found in people who are overweight or obese, as an excessive amount of weight puts an unnecessary strain on the ligaments. Others at risk for plantar fasciitis include those who often wear shoes without adequate support, especially individuals who regularly sit or stand for prolonged periods at a time.

q: How do you get plantar fasciitis?
a:

Plantar fasciitis may occur any time you have overly strained or torn the plantar fascia ligament. This is common among runners and athletes who have overtrained without enough rest. Their plantar fascia has become inflamed because of such persistent use and has begun to lose its ability to adequately absorb shock. Yet, it is not just running or movement that will tear or strain the ligament. Disproportionately administered weight will strain the ligament awkwardly. Therefore, if you are overweight, obese, or wear high heels often, be careful of developing plantar fasciitis.

q: When is plantar fasciitis most commonly experienced?
a:

Most patients feel the worse pain of the day from their plantar fasciitis first thing in the morning when they wake up. Those first few steps once your feet hit the floor can be exceptionally excruciating. It might seem ironic, but the pain from plantar fasciitis actually isn’t experienced as badly DURING exercise as it is after the workout has been completed. Walking up steps, in particular, can exacerbate the pain, as can longer periods of standing and sitting.

q: Can plantar fasciitis come back after it has already fully healed?
a:

Yes. This is especially true if you choose to treat the symptoms instead of actually treating the root cause of your plantar fasciitis. (For example, your plantar fasciitis might actually be because of another foot condition which, left unattended to, will just continue to worsen over time.) It is always best to see a doctor and have them determine what exactly is causing your foot pain so that you can best pinpoint the method of treatment that will heal your feet fastest and the most effective.

Sources

  1. Unknown, Plantar Fasciitis Massage, Sports Injury How To Page,
  2. Kerrie Ann Frey, Benefits of Massage For Athletes, Health and Fitness Magazine Article, Feb 01, 2013
  3. Paul Ingraham, Massage Therapy for Tired Feet (and Plantar Fasciitis!), Sports Injury Pain Online Article, Oct 25, 2012
  4. Treacy Colbert, Plantar Fasciitis Stretches to Soothe Heel Pain, Health and Fitness Article, Aug 16, 2016
  5. Brad Walker, Dynamic Stretching Explained, Stretching Website Article,
  6. Unknown, Guide to Best Walking Boots for Foot and Ankle Injuries, Foot and Ankle Center of Washington Health Article,
  7. Unknown, Heel Spurs, Health Article,
  8. Heel That Pain, Do High Heels Cause Plantar Fasciitis?, Medical Health Article, Nov 07, 2016
  9. University Foot and Ankle Institute, Popular FAQs About Plantar Fasciitis and Plantar Fasciitis Treatment, Informational Health Webpage Article, Aug 14, 2017
  10. Kaitlyn Wekerle, What is the difference between stem cell therapy and PRP injections?, Southwest Spine and Pain Center Blog Article, Jun 13, 2014
  11. Dr. Mauricio Herrera, Tenex Health TX Procedure for Elbow, Knee and Shoulder Tendinitis, Informational Sports Injury Web Page, Aug 14, 2017
  12. Dr. Jonathan Cluett, Shock Wave Therapy for Tendonitis and Plantar Fasciitis: Can Shock Waves Be An Effective Treatment for Pain?, Health and Wellness Web Page Article, May 05, 2016