4 Stretches And Exercises For Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a foot problem that results from inflammation and tearing of the plantar fascia ligament. It is a common problem for runners since they put a lot of pressure on their feet regularly but also pregnant women have to deal with it due to the extra weight that their legs need to carry.
For most people, it will manifest as a sharp heel pain when they make their first few steps in the morning or start walking after standing or sitting for long. Plantar fasciitis is a problem that you cannot ignore and hope that it will just disappear and so you need to find a quick solution. Combining stretches and exercise with other things like wearing orthotics, icing, resting and taking painkillers is the best way of dealing with plantar fasciitis.
Studies show that exercises and stretches provide one of the most efficient solutions for plantar fasciitis and other common foot problems. And so to help you get some relief here are some of the best stretches and exercises for plantar fasciitis.
Most foot problems will always have some effect on the calf as they will make the muscles tense up. And so calf stretches can be quite helpful when dealing with plantar fasciitis. This exercise is also quite easy to do, and you only need to spare a few minutes during your works hours.
A good calf stretch will target the gastrocnemius muscles in the calf which is one of the problematic areas when suffering from plantar fasciitis. If you do it right, this exercise will also loosen the soleus muscle in your calf which is just what you need to ease the pain and reduce inflammation.
Follow the steps below to do a simple calf stretch that will stretch both the Achilles tendon and those important muscles at the back of the leg.
- Stand to face a wall and put both your hands on it at about eye level.
- Place the foot that you want to stretch a step behind the other.
- While keeping the heel on your back foot on the floor, you should bend your front leg's knee till you feel a stretch on the back foot.
- Hold this stretch for at least 15 seconds and repeat this at least three times. Also, make sure that you do this calf stretch for both feet and at least three times through the day.
Foot Roller Massage
The tears and tension on the plantar fascia are what makes your feet painful when you have plantar fasciitis. The foot roller massage is a simple exercise that aims at easing the tension on the plantar fascia ligament by stretching it. This massage also helps to improve the floor of blood on the bottom of your foot to speed up the healing process.
For this exercise, you can use a foot roller if you have one or a frozen bottle of water if you do not. It is quite a simple routine and will be a perfect choice when you want some pain relief after a long day at work or when you are having difficulties walking in the morning due to pain.
- Place the roller on a flat floor and your foot on top.
- Apply some pressure on the roller with the foot and roll it slowly under the foot from the balls to the heel.
- Repeat this rolling for at least five minutes and do it three times (morning, noon and before bed)
With plantar fasciitis, you will not want to stand for long, but this does not mean that you cannot exercise because there are still many routines that you can do from a sitting position. The cross-legged stretch is one of them.
It entails stretching your toes and ankle from a sitting position. Bending your toes helps to stretch your fascia while doing it on your ankle will stretch the Achilles tendon and reduce inflammation.
- Start by sitting in a cross-legged position on a chair or at the end of your bed.
- Place the problematic foot over the knee of your other leg.
- Grab the heel (on your foot with plantar fasciitis) with one hand and the toes with the other.
- Pull on the toes gently while also pulling on the heel at the same time.
- Hold the stretch for about ten seconds and repeat ten or more time.
- Change to the other foot if it also has the problem. Repeat this routine twice daily.
You do not need any special gym equipment to do plantar fasciitis stretches because your towel is just enough. Towel stretches are as effective as any other stretch, and you can also do them almost anywhere provided you have a towel.
The towel stretches help to deal with plantar fasciitis by massaging the bottom of the feet to improve blood circulation and to ease the tension on the plantar fascia ligament. These stretches can also help to stretch your calf muscle.
- Sit on the floor, or any flat surface with your legs stretched out.
- Roll a towel and place it on the ball of your feet and hold it on both ends.
- Pull the towel towards you gently and ensure that your knee remains straight.
- Hold the position for about 30 seconds and repeat for the other leg and do this stretch at least thrice every day.
- You can also use a warm towel for this exercise to get some extra relief.
Other Helpful Remedies For Plantar Fasciitis
- Ice your feet daily to numb pain and reduce swelling.
- Get an Epsom salt soak to benefit from the healing properties of magnesium.
- Do an essential oil massage to ease the pain.
- Wear orthotics and supportive shoes to cushion your feet and absorb pressure.
- Avoid standing or walking for long periods to prevent exposing your feet to unnecessary pressure.
Plantar fasciitis is an uncomfortable and painful foot condition that will affect your daily activities. Luckily there are many ways of preventing and treating it without using any particular medication or seeking medical interventions.
Stretches and exercises for plantar fasciitis are always the best way to deal with the problem, but you should also combine them with other things like weight loss, rest and wear the right footwear when running or working. Also, remember not to overdo any stretch or exercise because it can make the problem worse.