8 benefits of orthotics for those with plantar fasciitis

Biocorrect, LLC


Plantar fasciitis is a common and often painful foot condition, affecting around 10% of people worldwide. It happens when the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue along the bottom of the foot, becomes inflamed or irritated. This inflammation or irritation causes heel pain that can range from mild to severe. This discomfort is usually the most noticeable in the morning or after long periods of standing or walking. Plantar fasciitis can have a significant impact on your daily activities and mobility. However, with proper treatment and management, you can find relief and improve your foot health. One way to help manage your plantar fasciitis is with custom orthotics.

Custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis are specialized shoe inserts or devices. They are designed to help provide support, cushioning and alignment correction. They can help alleviate pain and discomfort that is associated with plantar fasciitis. Custom orthotics can be recommended on their own or as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Other treatments may include stretching exercises, specific footwear or modifications, and physical therapy. The specific type of custom orthotic and features included will depend on your condition, foot anatomy and treatment goals. Working closely with a health care professional with experience in foot and ankle conditions can help you determine the most suitable orthotic option for your plantar fasciitis. 

What are the benefits of custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis?

Custom orthotics can offer several benefits if you are dealing with plantar fasciitis:

  • Arch support — Custom orthotics can provide you with additional arch support. Extra support can help reduce the strain on the plantar fascia and alleviate pain. Orthotics achieve this by distributing pressure more evenly across the foot to help reduce stress on the inflamed plantar fascia.
  • Shock absorption — Custom orthotic inserts can have cushioning properties that help absorb shock during walking and other weight-bearing activities. This can help reduce the impact on the feet and heels and decrease pain and discomfort.
  • Alignment correction — Custom orthotics can help correct any foot alignment issues. Issues like overpronation, the excessive inward rolling of the foot, or supination, the outward rolling of the foot, can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis. Proper alignment of the feet helps reduce excessive tension on the plantar fascia. Reduced tension can help promote healing and ease pain.
  • Pressure distribution — By evenly distributing pressure across your foot, custom orthotics can help prevent excessive pressure on specific areas of your foot like the heel and forefoot. These areas are where plantar fasciitis pain is commonly felt. Even distribution can help reduce the risk of developing or worsening plantar fasciitis. It can also help make movement more comfortable.
  • Comfort improvement — Custom orthotic inserts can help provide you with additional comfort and reduce discomfort from physical activities like standing and walking. This boosted comfort can help make daily tasks more manageable.
  • Stabilization — Orthotics can provide stability to the foot and ankle. They help reduce excessive motion and strain on the plantar fascia. Stabilization helps prevent the further aggravation of inflamed tissue. It also helps support proper foot mechanics during weight-bearing activities.
  • Improved biomechanicsCustom orthotics are tailored to fit your foot shape, gait pattern and biomechanics. By optimizing your foot function, orthotics can address underlying issues that may be contributing to your plantar fasciitis. These issues can include muscle imbalances or abnormal foot mechanics.
  • Preventive measure — Using custom orthotics can help provide proper foot support and alignment. This can potentially reduce your risk of developing plantar fasciitis or experiencing flare-ups if you are predisposed to it.

Does Medicare cover the cost of custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis?

Medicare coverage for orthotics, including those for plantar fasciitis can vary depending on a variety of factors. Custom orthotics can be prescribed by podiatrists and other doctors to help treat foot problems for conditions like plantar fasciitis. Medicare categorizes custom orthotics under the durable medical equipment benefit, but certain criteria must also be met. Medicare will cover 80% of the approved cost for custom orthotics if:

  • The custom orthotics are deemed medically necessary for a specific condition.
  • The custom orthotics are prescribed as part of a treatment for a specific condition.
  • The orthotics are provided by a Medicare-approved supplier or provider. 

If you are enrolled in Medicare Part B and eligible for an orthotic device, you will pay the remaining 20% of the Medicare-approved cost and your deductible will apply. Depending on the type of custom orthotics you need, your cost can range from under $20 up to hundreds of dollars.

You can contact Medicare directly to ask about coverage for custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis and verify any out-of-pocket costs. Your health care provider should also be able to provide guidance on the Medicare coverage process and how to get medically necessary orthotics. 

Are custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis worth the investment?

Deciding if custom orthotics are worth the expense for helping plantar fasciitis can depend on a variety of factors. Things to consider when deciding if custom orthotics are worth the investment for managing your plantar fasciitis can include:

  • Severity of plantar fasciitis — If you have severe or persistent plantar fasciitis that hasn’t responded well to other conservative treatments, custom orthotics may be beneficial. They can provide tailored support and cushioning to help address specific foot issues contributing to your pain.
  • Customization and fit — Custom orthotics are designed around a detailed assessment of your foot structure, gait mechanics and biomechanical needs. They are custom-made to fit your foot precisely. This precise fit can provide you with superior support, alignment correction and pressure distribution compared to over-the-counter orthotics.
  • Long-term benefits — Custom orthotics can be recommended for long-term use. This is because they can help address underlying biomechanical issues, help prevent overuse injuries, and provide you with ongoing support and comfort during daily activities and exercise.
  • Dependency — While custom orthotics can provide you with long-term pain relief and foot support, it’s important you don’t become dependent on them. Even with custom orthotics, you should continue with other treatments and exercises that can help with the underlying issues of plantar fasciitis. These can help with pain relief and improve your foot strength and flexibility.
  • Activity level and lifestyle — If you lead an active lifestyle, participate in sports, or have a job that requires you to sit or stand for extended periods, custom orthotics may offer you significant benefits.
  • Adjustment period — It may take your feet and body some time to adjust to wearing the orthotics. This can be especially true if you aren’t used to arch support or foot alignment changes. You may have some initial discomfort or changes in how you walk while you get used to the orthotics.
  • Cost and insurance coverage — Custom orthotics can be more expensive than over-the-counter orthotics. Insurance coverage can vary depending on your provider and plan. You’ll want to consider the cost of custom orthotics against the potential benefits and long-term value they can provide.
  • Maintenance and replacement — After your initial cost, custom orthotics can come with additional future expenses. They need regular maintenance and cleaning and occasionally need to be replaced to help ensure that they are the most effective. Factors like wear and tear, changes in your feet, or weight fluctuations may cause you to need new orthotics sooner.

A podiatrist, orthopedic specialist, or other health care provider who is experienced in foot and ankle conditions can assess your specific needs and make recommendations on treatment options. They can also determine if custom orthotics will be a good fit for you.

Biocorrect has custom orthotics that can help you manage your plantar fasciitis

At Biocorrect, our foot experts are committed to providing you with custom orthotics that are tailored to your individual needs, particularly conditions like plantar fasciitis. Our expert team combines specialized knowledge and advanced technology to create custom orthotic solutions that can offer support, alignment correction and comfort. We strive to help you manage your plantar fasciitis and improve your foot health. We focus on quality, innovation and personalized care. Let us help empower you to lead a more comfortable and active life. 

Contact us to learn more about the orthotics we offer or to set up an initial evaluation with one of our certified pedorthists.
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