I recently heard from a patient that they believe what finally cured their plantar fasciitis was the occasional use of a particular pair of wedge shoes. The woman relates that she followed our protocols of stretching and icing as well as the use of arch supports. However, she stated that her pain didn’t completely resolve until one day she wore a pair of wedges and noticed the following two days that she did not have pain. She tells me that since then, she makes sure to wear these shoes a couple times every week.
While I suppose it is possible that this could improve the symptoms for plantar fasciitis, it wouldn’t be one of my recommended protocols. A shoe with a bit of height is known to help a condition called achilles tendonitis, as it reduces the pull of this tendon on the heel bone (calcaneus). Because some of the tendon fibers wrap around the calcaneus and blend with the fibers of the plantar fascia, the relief with this type of shoe may extend to the plantar fascia.
The reason we don’t typically recommend wearing heels to those with achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis is twofold. First, this encourages shortening of the tendon and plantar fascia, which is not functional for daily activities – this can predispose a person to future tearing as the tightness of the plantar fascia has been addressed opposite of what is recommended. Secondly, wedges and other heels with a certain amount of height place the foot and ankle in an unstable position which can cause ankle sprains and fractures.
We have a vast range of treatments available for plantar fasciitis, so whether you are having heel pain for the first time or can’t seem to get rid of it for years – come and see one of our doctors today to get on the road to relief!