Soccer, lacrosse, and ultimate Frisbee are becoming more and more popular throughout the country. What ties these three sports together is the fact that most participants wear soccer shoes when playing them.
Traditionally, these sports have been played by kids whom we often treat for condition such as calcaneal apophysitis. However, more and more adults are playing these three sports, wearing soccer cleats to play them and developing plantar fasciitis. Today, I want to address what to look for in a prefabricated orthosis that will effectively treat plantar fasciitis and yet will also fit inside the often limited confines of a soccer cleat.
First, consider the goals when treating plantar fasciitis. In general, the goal is to decrease tension on the plantar fascia. Kogler, et al demonstrated that in order to best decrease tension on the plantar aponeurosis an orthosis should both evert the forefoot on the rearfoot and conform closely to the arch of the foot.
This is easy to achieve with custom orthoses, but much more difficult to find parameters that address this in a prefabricated orthosis. Most prefabricated orthoses have a fairly low arch or are so flexible that they collapse under the arch of the foot and do not act to decrease tension on the plantar fascia. In addition, as far as we know, there is only one prefabricated orthosis on the market that incorporates valgus correction.
We have designed the ProLab P3 prefabricated orthoses so that they specifically address the treatment needs of plantar fasciitis. They are the only prefabricated orthoses that we know of that incorporate a forefoot valgus correction and also have a relatively high arch and are made out of a non-deformable polyproplyene that will not collapse upon weightbearing.
The second issue of course is finding an orthosis that will fit into a soccer cleat. Soccer cleats tend to be quite narrow and shallow. There are several different models of P3 prefabricated orthosis. To fit into a soccer cleat, my preference is an unposted, uncovered P3 prefabricated orthoses. Since it is made of polypropylene, it is easy to grind narrower. It is my opinion that this device is the most effective prefabricated orthosis for soccer players suffering plantar fasciitis.