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Stretches for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition affecting the foot. When the plantar fascia ligament is stretched inappropriately, it causes small tears and inflammation to build up, which then results in heel pain whenever you stand, walk or run. Plantar Fasciitis is common to middle-aged people but can also affect younger individuals who are always on their feet.

This condition is more likely to happen if:

  •    Your feet roll inward too much when you walk (excessive pronation)
  •    High-arched or flat feet
  •    You stand, walk or run for long periods of time, especially on rough surfaces.
  •    You are overweight
  •    You’re wearing shoes that are worn out or doesn’t fit well with your feet
  •    You have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles

Resting, using shoe inserts, or icing typically remove the pain in the heels especially if combined with strengthening and stretching exercises.

In addition to this, warming up and stretching before sports or exercise may make your plantar fascia more flexible and may decrease the chance of injury and inflammation.

Stretching exercises can help the plantar fascia to become more flexible and can reinforce the muscles that support the arch of your foot, significantly reducing the stress on the ligament.


Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis

Stretching the plantar fascia regularly will make it stronger and more flexible, remove strain on the heel and the base of the foot. Below are the best stretches you can do to relieve or prevent heel pain.

  •    Rolling—Use a rolling pin or tennis ball. While seated, roll the rolling pin or ball with the arch of your foot. If you are able to, progress to doing this exercise while you are standing up.
  •    Toe Stretch –Sit in a chair and extend the affected leg with its heel on the floor. Reach down to pull your big toe toward you. Hold the position for 15-30 seconds. Repeat this for 2-4 times each session, several times a day.
  •    Towel Stretch – Sit on a flat surface with your legs extended straight in front of you. Place a towel under the ball of your foot, holding its both ends with your both hands. Pull the towel toward you gently while keeping your knee straight. Hold this for 15-30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
  •    Calf Stretch -Stand in front of a wall. Put your hands on the wall at about eye level as if you’re about to push it. Put the affected leg a step behind. Keeping both heels connected to the floor, bend your front knee forward to stretch the back leg. Hold the position for 15-30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
  •    Plantar fascia and calf stretch –stand on the edge of a step with the heel outside the step. Be sure to hold on especially on the banister if it is a stair. Gently let your heels fall as you relax your leg muscles. Hold the position for 15-30 seconds, then bring your heel back to the starting position. Repeat this 3 times.
  •    Towel curls—Sit comfortably and place your foot on a towel on the floor. Scrunch the towel toward you by curling your toes inward the soles of your feet. Also, use your toes to push the towel back to its original form.
  •    Marble pickups  –Put a cup and a bunch of marbles on the floor. Using your toes, try to grab the marbles to put them in the cup.

Many people also experience plantar fasciitis in the morning, having intense heel pain when they take their first steps getting out of bed. This occurs due to the tightening of the plantar fascia during sleep. To prevent this:

  •    Stretch or massage your feet before standing up
  •    Stretch your foot by flexing it up and down 10 times before standing.
  •    Do toe stretches to stretch the plantar fascia.
  •    Use a towel to stretch the bottom of your foot (towel stretch)

In addition to this, other methods can help reduce heel pain when you take your first steps after getting out of bed. You can:

  •    Massage the bottom of your foot across the width of the plantar fascia before getting out of bed.
  •    Always wear shoes when you get out of bed, even if it is just to go to the bathroom. Quality sandals, athletic shoes, or any other comfortable shoes with good arch supports will work.
  •    Wear a night splint while you are sleeping. Holding the ankle and foot in a position that keeps the Achilles Tendon and Plantar Fascia slightly stretched will lessen the risk of Plantar Fasciitis.

Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis

Chiropractic treatment can have so many benefits when it comes to plantar fasciitis including specific chiropractic techniques.  It is proven to be effective in improving your posture and alignment.  If you suffer from bad posture or improper body alignment that you think are contributing to your plantar fasciitis, visit Beyond Wellness Chiropractic Center.

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