Heel Seats for Plantar Fasciitis
Heel seats are an excellent way of reducing the pain from plantar fasciitis, and of being able to remain mobile while the plantar fascia tissue is given time to heal. These devices are not a cure, as that can only come from surgery or from time to allow the body to heal any damage to the plantar fascia.
There is a dual purpose to heel seats. Heel seats can help by decreasing the range of motion of the plantar fascia by lifting the heel slightly. They typically raise the heel by no more than half an inch, which can reduce the strain on the plantar fascia considerably. Heel seats will only be effective if they are worn in shoes all of the time. The second purpose is to provide extra cushioning in the heel, which also eases the strain on the plantar fascia, but also reduces any discomfort from heel spurs.
Although raising the heel can be achieved by wearing high heeled shoes, the problem is that these raise the heel too much, and do not provide cushioning or arch support. High heeled shoes can also cause tightness in the Achilles tendon, which can in turn increase stretching of the plantar fascia leading to further damage being caused.
How Effective are Heel Seats for Treating Plantar Fasciitis?
Many sufferers of this painful foot condition claim that simply by wearing heal seats in shoes they have managed to prevent the pain from plantar fasciitis. This usually involves wearing them at all times, including in slippers which are put on before the weight is put on the feet in the morning. Anyone who has to spend a long time on their feet all day, will almost certainly benefit from this method of treating plantar fasciitis. When used in conjunction with a night splint to prevent contraction of the plantar fascia while sleeping, they can be more effective.
Some models are even sold with a full money back guarantee if they do not provide pain relief, demonstrating the confidence that some manufacturers have in their products. While heel seats for plantar fasciitis may not at first glance appear to be highly technical products, the design of some brands of heel seats has taken many years to develop to get the best possible effects and therapeutic value.
Heel Seats and Heel Spurs
Heel spurs are bone deposits on the heels which are believed to be a defense mechanism against inflammation of the plantar fascia. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed or irritated, calcium deposits may result which over time form a bony spur on the heel. Although this defense mechanism can help to prevent further damage, these spurs can cause further irritation of the plantar fascia tissue. These bone deposits are laid down over a relatively long period of time, and are quite common in long term sufferers of plantar fasciitis. It is not known whether heel spurs cause plantar fasciitis or are caused by the condition, and both may in fact be true. Heel spurs may not actually cause any discomfort, and can be present without the accompanying damage to the plantar fascia tissue. Heal heel spurs do cause irritation or pain, heel seats can be an effective treatment, and can help to ease the pressure on the spurs.
High Quality Brands of Heel Seats
While all heal seats (often called heal cups) may offer some relief from the pain of plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, one brand stands out for the quality of design, and has helped many people ease plantar fascia pain. HTP heel seats feature the patented fascia bar, which applies acupressure to the bottom of the foot, while easing the strain on the plantar fascia, foot arch and heel. HTP heel seats can easily be slipped into virtually all shoe types without interfering with the fit of the shoes. They are robust, easy to clean and offer highly cost effective relief from heel pain from plantar fasciitis.
The design allows them to prevent the partial collapse of the foot arch, and help to redistribute the forces acting on the heel, augmenting the heel fat pad, and provide excellent cushioning. The devices cost around $25 for a pair – you need two even if you only have plantar fasciitis in one foot – weight just 4.3 ounces, and have almost universally positive reviews.
If in doubt about the best products to purchase, keep an eye out for any that are accredited by the American Podiatric Medical Association.