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Heel Pain

Although Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common problems for people who over pronate, it is sometimes misdiagnosed. So, to be sure, it’s good to know the specific symptoms. Because Plantar Fasciitis is the fascia tearing away from the bone, it's typically a sharp pain. It can be intermittent and related to activity, but when it becomes chronic it's most often called the “First Step” pain because it's particularly painful as you stand up after sitting down for a while or getting out of bed.  Sometimes the pain tapers off a little when you have been on your feet for a while. The most intense pain is typically felt toward the lateral side of the anterior heel.

False Plantar Fasciitis
Trigger Point TrP1 is located in the lower medial portion of the Soleus muscle next to the region where the Achilles Tendon inserts into the muscle.
Image from Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction - The Trigger Point Manual by Travell & Simons.
Plantar Fasciitis
The most intense pain is typically felt toward the lateral side of the anterior heel..

We have spoken with many people who were diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis and who had received one or more steroid injections, which is the most common treatment for the problem.  However, they still experienced heel pain.  The reason was that they didn't have Plantar Fasciitis to begin with.  What they experienced was Trigger Points in their Soleus muscle. Trigger Point 1 in the lower Soleus refers pain to the bottom of the heel and the pain may spill over into the mid foot region.

Palpate the region with your fingers with gentle pressure. If you feel a small lump or pain, you can apply significant pressure for a minute or two and then massage the muscle. You can also try a foam roller like a Tiger Tail. If you stumble upon a trigger point, you will know it - it hurts!! Apply pressure and massage. You may have to repeat this several times.

False Plantar Fasciitis
This deep intrinsic muscle of the foot plays an important role in stabilizing the foot.
Image from Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction - The Trigger Point Manual by Travell & Simons.

Pain at the bottom of the heel can also be caused by Trigger Points in the a deep intrinsic foot muscle called Quadratus Plantae. This muscle assists and aligns the pull on the lesser toes (2-5) when flexing and is often overused when the feet are unstable. This is the case with people who structurally over pronate but try to correct it by shifting weight towards the outside of the feet as in trying to supinate their feet. Check the wear pattern on your shoes. If you wear harder toward the little toes under the balls of your feet, this may be your problem.

Trigger Points and muscle overuse do not respond to steroid injections, but can be eliminated by pressure, hot or cold treatment, stretching and massage. This is what a Trigger Point Therapist can do for you. Good Trigger Point Therapists, in addition, will seek to stabilize your feet to allow these muscles to relax by recommending ProKinetics® Insoles.

If you have Plantar Fasciitis, controlling over pronation is also your best option. This is commonly done by fitting arch supports. While this will help initially, for most, it is a counterproductive treatment. The reason is quite logical when you consider what arch supports do.

The reason arch supports initially help with Plantar Fasciitis and particularly for people who are experiencing a chronic situation is that they have sustained an injury. Micro tears have developed where the fascia inserts into the bone, and immobilizing the foot prevents the fascia from pulling and aggravating the injury. Untreated, the bone may respond by growing a heel spur which can make a bad situation worse.  The arch support works like a one sided cast allowing the micro tears to heal, so the pain goes away,  but would you keep your cast on after your bone fracture has set, or a neck brace after your neck has healed?  Even a short time in a cast will significantly atrophy the muscles, and so the results of prolonged use of arch supports if not needed can be serious and uncomfortable.  For years ProKinetics® Insoles have retrained our cusrtomers' feet so they would regain strength and once again become comfortable walking barefoot.  

Arch supports really only control over pronation when you are standing still.  Once your heel rises from the ground when walking, the foot will over pronate unless you correct the problem at its root, the forefoot, and specifically the first metatarsal bone.  ProKinetics® Insoles control your over pronation by engaging the muscles that control the first metatarsal and big toe to stabilize the forefoot.

If you want to get to the bottom of your problem and take care of it, we suggest you take a closer look at your foot mechanics, but if you just want to try a pair of ProKinetics® Insoles you should know they are supported with a 90 day functional all your money back guarantee, so go ahead, you won't regret it.

One final note, if you get up for a bathroom trip in the middle of the night and you still have Plantar Fasciitis pain, step into your shoes with the ProKinetics® Insoles so you don't aggravate the injury.