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Heel Pain Causes and Home Remedies
Written by Keira Dale on January 5th 2022

In the United States alone, approximately 2 million Americans suffer from arch or heel pain each year. Heel pain is typically located on the underside of the heel, and occasionally behind it. 

While this is rarely a symptom of a serious health condition, it can escalate to the point where normal activity, especially exercise, can be extremely painful. Although mild pain in the heel area can commonly disappear on its own, severe pain can become persistent and chronic if ignored.

Heel Pain Causes
Most heel pain is caused by a condition known as plantar fasciitis.  From simple physical activities, such as walking and standing, to more strenuous weight-bearing exercises, such as dancing and jogging, the feet are constantly subjected to significant stresses. Due to their strategic location and function, the heel is vulnerable to damage, injury and pain.

One of the most common causes of heel and arch pain is overuse/ repetitive exertion with inadequately supportive shoes. 
Why Is Heel Pain In The Morning Worse?
The typical symptoms of heel pain present themselves gradually. In most cases, pain is felt on the bottom of the heel. Discomfort can also extend into the arch. The pain is most intense when resuming activity after rest and tends to decrease with continued motion. This is due to the fact that the plantar fascia (the ligament that is strained in heel pain) tightens as we sleep.  When we first step down again, a shocking tight pain can be felt!

Plantar fasciitis can also worsen at the end of the day after long periods of standing or walking. Swelling, inflammation and stiffness are other symptoms that may be associated with this type of heel pain.  
Side Heel Pain?  Inside Heel Pain?  Pain In The Left Heel vs. The Right?  Is It All The Same?
Plantar fasciitis most commonly causes sharp, stabbing pain right under the heel. It is most painful after the foot has been at rest. This could be when getting up in the morning or after having been seated for a long time.  However, it is not uncommon to develop heel pain in other locations of the heel such as the outer side, the inside, or only the left or right heel.
What Is a Typical Recovery Time For Pain In My Heel?
The American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society has recommended the use of over-the-counter insoles and stretching exercises as a starting point for heel pain treatment. 

According to one study performed, approximately 95 percent of women who wore over-the-counter shoe inserts and followed a simple stretching regimen experienced significant relief from heel pain in eight weeks. This illustrates what many have experienced in the past, that over-the-counter orthotic shoe inserts can be used as a highly effective first line of therapy for heel pain with positive results. 
Can Heel And Arch Pain Go Away?
There are quite a few conditions that can result in heel pain and arch pain. If you can figure out what the underlying cause is, you may be able to get rid of your pain.
What is the #1 Home Remedy for Heel and Arch Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)?
For something that affects so many people, plantar fasciitis isn't talked about often enough. Generally part of the welcoming wagon of "getting old," plantar fasciitis can be serious enough to make the simple act of walking tough for anyone - regardless of age and fitness.

For many, the answer is plantar fasciitis shoe inserts, sometimes custom-made by a podiatrist. These cost hundreds of dollars, and can often end up limiting the types of shoes you can wear.

However, nearly all cases of plantar fasciitis can be addressed with a pair of over-the-counter orthotic shoe inserts. Not only do they average a tenth of the cost, but they are available in many different shapes and sizes, so you don't have to get rid of what's in your closet. 

It sounds a little too good to be true, but once you understand more about what plantar fasciitis is, and how a good orthotic helps, you'll start to see why the solution doesn't have to break the bank.
 Our Top 5 Heel Pain Orthotics for 2022

🏆 "2022 Social Reviewer Top Pick" 🏆

#1- Samurai Insoles Ninjas ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Never heard of Samurai Insoles? You will! This company has taken the foot care market by storm recently, and there are no signs of them slowing down anytime soon. Why are Samurai Insoles our top pick for 2021 for plantar fasciitis?
✔️ Great Reviews: "They work", "Amazing", "A Miracle", "A must have"; this is just some of the tremendous feedback Samurai Insoles Ninjas are getting from customers with heel pain recently.

✔️ Design: Samurai Insoles Ninjas are one of the few products on the market that are an ACTUAL ORTHOTIC that is not super rigid. This gives your feet the support they need to relieve heel and arch pain while STILL being comfortable!  They also can be worn in ANY shoe with a removable insole, giving you the flexibility of using them in many types of shoes!  And the best part?  Because they aren't an insole made of foam and fabric, they last SO LONG!  There isn't anything to wear out, just put them under the factory insoles of a new pair of shoes and you're good to go.

✔️ Price: At $39.99 these are an absolute steal! (Edit: It looks like these are currently on sale on Amazon for $29.99) We paid over $500 for custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis a few years ago. For less than 1/10 the price, these are nearly as good.

✔️ Greater than 30 Day Return Policy: Samurai Insoles Ninjas have a 60 day return policy, and a ONE YEAR WARRANTY!  No other product we reviewed even comes CLOSE to a one year warranty. Apparently they'll even accept a return if you've worn them for 59 days and then decide they don't work for you. Wow!

✔️ Made in the USA: Samurai Insoles are made in an orthotic lab in the USA. The fact that an American-made orthotic can be purchased for under $30 still amazes us.

Here is the founder of Samurai Insoles demonstrating:

#2- Protalus Insoles ⭐⭐⭐⭐

If you've been on the internet in the last year, you haven't sneezed without seeing a Protalus ad. They are comfy and can be very beneficial for plantar fasciitis.  Protalus' hefty price tag remains their biggest negative.
✔️ Great Reviews: "Solid insoles", "Almost pain free", "They work"; Protalus has built a very loyal fan base over the past 2 years.

✔️ Design: Protalus "kind of" has an orthotic merged with an insole. Protalus took a different approach by combining a thick piece of plastic on the bottom of the insole, instead of inside. This definitely does the job, but it also makes them thicker than the Samurai, reducing the choices of shoes they'll fit well in.
   
❌ Price: Here's the problem with Protalus; they're $99.95. Oof. For that kind of money you'd better REALLY love them. It also reduces the chances you'd buy a whole bunch of them to put in all of your shoes.

✔️ Greater than 30 Day Return Policy: Protalus has a 90 day return policy. We always wonder about very extended return policies like this one. If something fits you for 60 days, is there a chance you'll change your mind in 90 days? I suppose it's possible...

❌ Made in the USA: Protalus insoles are NOT made in the USA unfortunately. For the price we had hoped they were.

#3- Superfeet GREEN Insoles ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Superfeet have been around a LONG time. They got their start being sold in retail sporting goods stores, and have transitioned to selling online in recent years, but this has presented the company with some challenges.
❌ Great Reviews: When looking through the reviews for Superfeet you'll surely find many who have been helped by the GREEN insole line. Unfortunately, they have apparently had issues with cheap knock offs sneaking their way onto Amazon and Ebay, which has led to many complaints by customers that they have received fakes when buying online.

✔️ Design: If you've checked out the Protalus design, just know that the Superfeet did it first. They were one of the first to incorporate an orthotic plastic layer on the outside of the insole. Once again, this does the job, but it also makes them thicker than the Samurai, reducing the choices of shoes they'll fit well in.
   
✔️ Price: Superfeet retail for $49.99, that's getting into the pricey range.

✔️ Greater than 30 Day Return Policy:  Superfeet GREEN has a 60 day return policy. 

❌ Made in the USA: Superfeet are not made in the USA unfortunately. Once again, for this price we had hoped they would be.

#4- Dr. Scholl's "Custom fit" Orthotic Inserts ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Dr. Scholl's is the original company that brought over the counter orthotic insoles to drug stores everywhere. Are they really "custom" though? Well, not really... Do they still work? Many say they do!
✔️ Great Reviews: Overwhelming positive on Amazon at the time of writing this.

✔️ Design: Not a full length insole (but neither is Protalus), which may make it difficult for some people to adjust to the feel of this. Once again, Dr. Scholl's Custom Fit combine a thick piece of plastic to the bottom of the insole, instead of inside. 
   
❌ Price: Dr. Scholl's "Custom fit" Orthotic Inserts currently retail for $53.95 on Amazon, our second most expensive selection.

✔️ Greater than 30 Day Return Policy:  Protalus has a 90 day return policy. Once again, we wonder if something fits you for 60 days, is there a chance you'll change your mind in 90 days? 

❌ Made in the USA: Dr. Scholl's "Custom fit" Orthotic Inserts are not made in the USA unfortunately.  

#5- Dr. Scholl's Pain Relief Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis ⭐⭐⭐

Well heck it has "Pain Relief Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis" right in the name! How are they not the best?! Well, there's more to this story... Dr. Scholl's really tried to make an *extremely* budget friendly "orthotic" with this line. In our opinion, there just isn't much left once you've stripped away the quality materials and manufacturing process of all of the other brands listed above.
❌ Great Reviews:  Mixed reviews on Amazon "More time will tell", "Didn't really help much", "It's OK".

❌ Design: Well, unfortunately, there isn't much of one. Dr. Scholl’s Pain Relief Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis are a very thin insole with a *very* thin piece of plastic glued to the bottom. It's unclear how much weight they can hold before flattening out, but by the looks of it, not much.
   
✔️ Price: Well, they are affordable! Dr. Scholl’s Pain Relief Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis retail for $18.99 on Amazon.

✔️ Greater than 30 Day Return Policy:  Dr. Scholl’s Pain Relief Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis have a 90 day return policy.  

❌ Made in the USA: Dr. Scholl's "Custom fit" Orthotic Inserts are not made in the USA unfortunately, and at $18.99 we wouldn't expect them to be.  
Whichever you choose to fight your plantar fasciitis, choose now!

The longer you allow plantar fasciitis pain to linger, the harder it is to get rid of, and the longer it will take!

About Social Reviewer
We find the absolute best items in every category to save you time, money, and energy when buying stuff to make your life better.

About The Author:

Keira Dale is a Portland Oregon native.  She is a contributor to the Social Reviewer for health and wellness related items.
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