Plantar fasciitis or heel pain is common condition among athletes, runners, but also affects those who are sedentary as well. It is hard to get rid if not taken care of, and you can suffer for months. Here are some plantar fasciitis exercises to live pain free.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation of the fibrous band (fascia) that runs along the foot, and connects from the heel to the base of the toes. When the plantar fascia gets tight and irritated, it will get inflammed and cause pain. It causes heel pain when walking, when you initially apply weight on that foot. This is often felt when you first get up in the morning, or when you get up from sitting for a period of time. Oftentimes, there is no pain symptoms while on your feet or during activities, but felt after the activity. Most pain is felt on the bottom of the foot on the heel, the inner and outer part of the heel. Pain from plantar fasciitis are described as burning and aching.
What are the causes of Plantar Fasciitis?
- Improper shoes – wearing worn out shoes, thin soled, flip flops, lacking arch support, no shock absorption, and frequent use of high-heeled shoes causes the Achilles tendon to shorten and irritate the plantar fascia over time.
- Poor foot mechanics – flat foot, overpronated feet, high arches, and toes that run inward, hip knee and foot injuries or poor posture, muscle imbalance can cause plantar fasciitis.
- Overweight – sudden increase in weight
- Sports or physical activity – sudden overload on your sport, recreational and physical activities placing stress to the foot.
- Diabetes, Arthritis
Plantar Fasciitis Exercises
Here are some exercise tips to help relieve and get rid of plantar fasciitis
- Calf stretches: standing calf stretch against the wall with the knee straight, and with the knee bent 60 seconds hold, 3-5 repetitions.
- Plantar fascia stretch on steps: Standing on the ball of your feet, slowly lower the heel down until you feel a stretch in your foot. 60 seconds hold, 3-5 repetitions.
- Passive toe motions: holding your toes, bend and extend the toes to passively exercise the muscles in the foot (intrinsic muscles of the foot), 50-100 repetitions.
Physical therapists can treat plantar fasciitis. Cortisone injections from your doctor has also been known to help.
If you think you are suffering from plantar fasciitis or heel pain and would like to be seen by our physical therapists, call our physical therapy office in Severna Park at (443) 906-6070.