Plantar fasciitis used to be a big mysterious disease a decade ago when doctors couldn’t really determine why people developed it. This disorder is actually quite common and causes inflammation or scarring in the thick band of connective tissue that extends from the heel of the foot towards the toes. The anatomical purpose of this plantar fascia is to support the arch of the foot.
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis include sharp heel pain that hurts excruciatingly when the person takes a step especially when first getting out of bed in the morning, arch pain and foot fatigue. Heavy activity causes muscle inflammation and worsens the condition.
In this information age and with the advent of orthotics science, it’s increasingly clear that the foot has its own biomechanics that needs to be paid attention to. Let’s take the example of someone who has flat feet. When standing on flat feet, the arch of the feet collapses. This strains the muscles of the feet. There are over a hundred muscles in the foot. Imagine how tired you get after spending a few hours working out your arm muscles in the gym. Then imagine how tired your feet feel after walking all day – all the muscles of the foot were overworked when you have flat feet. This is where the pain and inflammation of plantar fasciitis comes from – all the tired and overworked muscles of the feet.
The flat foot is called a flexible foot because the medial longitudinal arch of the foot collapses with each step. This is evident when you watch it occur in a mirror (if you have flat feet). Your foot spreads out. In a neutral arched foot this does not happen.
Now guess what happens when you add arched soles to the picture. Arched soles is a nickname for arched insoles. The arch stays in its proper place with the arched soles because they act as if they’re a crutch for the foot. The medial arch can’t support itself and leans on the arched soles for support. Now the muscles of the foot don’t tire out and there’s no inflammation at the level there was before.
The arched soles really came in to save the day. And actually they did because now the person with plantar fasciitis doesn’t have any pain. It’s the first time in weeks he can walk without pain. And it’s all due to the arched soles.