Plantar Fasciitis (Arch or heel pain)
One of the most common causes of heel and/or arch pain that involves inflammation of the thick band of tissue called the plantar fasciitis which runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. A tight Achilles tendon combined with a foot that pronates excessively (arches flatten out on weight bearing) will precipitate this condition. It may occur in one or both feet.
$ Self Help
Occasional pain in the heel or arch with excessive walking in unsupportive shoes.
Stretching the Achilles tendon, rest.
Supportive shoes with slight heel elevation.
Anti-inflammatory medication and hot and cold contrasting baths.
Dansko clogs are sometimes helpful, as are shoes with rocker bottom soles.
$$ Retail or Internet Store
Consistent pain on weight bearing, even when wearing supportive shoes
Over-the-counter inserts that are not too soft of squishy can be helpful. A firm heel cup gives more relief than flat cushioning.
There are many brands available, but avoid the cheapest kind found in the drug stores.
Ones from sports and athletic shops tend to be better and more supportive.
Try on several pairs to determine which are most comfortable and designed for your foot type.
$$$ Pedorthist, Podiatrist or other Foot Care Specialist
Constant pain that interferes with your ability to stay active
Custom orthotic devices are usually indicated for more severe cases. Besides capturing the exact contours of the bottom of your feet, the surface of the device, by design, manipulates the joints of foot to assume the ideal position for each phase of the gait cycle. A custom orthotic device acts as an interface between the floor of your shoe and your foot with all the joints properly aligned.