Heel Cups are heel shaped pads inserted in shoes to raise the heel and relieve tension on the plantar fascia. Essentially, they cushion the heels to reduce pressure on the plantar fascia while the patient is walking. For those suffering from plantar fasciitis, thesecups provide a lift that reduces the strain on the fascia and also shortens the heel cord. They will therefore reduce the heel pain that is a part of plantar fasciitis for many people.
However, the cups can also reduce heel pain that is caused by other factors. For example, a second type of heel pain can be a bruised heel due to fat pad atrophy. With this type of heel pain, the pain is closer to the point of the heel than it is with plantar fasciitis. Nevertheless, heel cups can act as cushions that help reduce this pain. In fact, without treatment, the pain of a bruised heel can cause the patient to modify his or her gait to reduce the pressure on the painful area. This too can then lead to plantar fasciiiis.
A third cause of heel pain can be a short Achilles tendon. This type of pain can also be eased by using gel heel cups to cushion the impact on the heels while walking.
Best Heel Cups For Plantar Fasciitis
The best cups for treatment of plantar fasciitis and other causes of heel pain will have some or all of the following features:
A traction layer under the cup to ensure it doesn’t move around under the foot. This will keep the cup in the intended position, especially while running or engaging in athletically demanding activity;
Slight heel elevation to reduce strain to the feet, back and legs during athletically demanding activity;
In addition, some of the best heel cups may be worn on either the left or right heel.