Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the tissue in your foot which runs from your heel to your toe, making your foot very painful. Plantar fasciitis is the leading cause of foot pain but to help you deal with the condition, there are exercises you can perform.
When used in conjunction with a shoe insole which supports the tissue (known as the plantar fascia), these exercises can help manage and potentially treat plantar fasciitis.
Stretching the Tissue
One of the best ways you can exercise your plantar fascia is to stretch the tissue, helping the area to regain its former strength. One way you can do this is to stretch it yourself by hand, following this easy technique:
Sit on the ground with your legs outstretched, and raise the knee of the afflicted leg until you can easily reach the foot.
With the foot pointing up, take hold of the top of the foot and pull it up, keeping your heel on the ground but making sure not to over-stretch the foot.
Hold this for approximately 30 seconds and repeat 5 times.
You should aim to do this exercise 3 times a day, every day for maximum effectiveness.
Stretching the Tissue by Rolling
Another good way to stretch the tissue is to roll it over something round — anything from a drinks can to a tennis ball should be suitable. This exercise can be performed while standing or sitting in the following way:
If standing, ensure that you are holding on to something, such as the back of a chair
Place the object on the ground
Roll the affected foot over it (while barefoot) in all angles
Continue this for several minutes until you start to feel some discomfort
Repeat this exercise at least 2 times a day for maximum effectiveness
If there is too much discomfort at the start of the exercise, use a drinks can from the fridge. This will provide relief to the discomfort and ensure that you can exercise the condition.
This one is easy to do, and can be done in almost any home with no equipment required. Simply:
Step onto the first step of a flight of stairs
Holding on to the handrail, position your heels so they are hanging off the edge of the step, with the balls of your feet on the edge and feet horizontal
Ensuring your knees stay straight, lower your heels until you feel your calf muscles start to tighten
Hold for 20-60 seconds, then raise your heels back to their original position
Repeat 6 times at least 2 times a day for maximum effectiveness
These exercises for plantar fasciitis help strengthen the affected tissue, and when used with an insole for plantar fasciitis will help reduce the pain and stress the condition can cause.