Are you suffering from plantar fasciitis foot pain?
I’ve had this myself for several years and I’m going to show you what you can do about it. This stretches and exercises that you can do to improve the condition and hopefully get rid of it completely.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis effects the fascia between your heel and your toes. In some cases, it results in heel pain.
Sometimes people have like myself, just a lot of pain right along the bottom. So it hurts to walk. It can sometimes be a burning sensation.
At the end of this video, I’m going to talk about the outlook for plantar fasciitis, how long it might take you to get better.
Who Gets Plantar Fasciitis?
What’s interesting is that plantar fasciitis is actually very common in either runners and very active people. And it’s also very common among people who are very sedentary and it comes down to the load that you’re placing on your feet. So people who are very active, running, jumping, and hopping, they’re placing a lot of load onto that foot on a regular basis. And perhaps without enough time to recover for people who are sedentary, their feet are not used to the load at all because there are not stressing the feet on a regular basis.
So for some reason, they increase their activity levels rapidly, then the load overwhelms their capacity to recover.
It’s basically about that balance between the load and your capacity to recover from that load.
Plantar Fasciitis & Age
This does become more common as we get older because our ability to recover tends to reduce. It also seems to be a bit of a degenerative condition. It’s not really an inflammatory condition, even though it might feel that way.
As with most chronic conditions, plantar fasciitis is a little bit complicated. The same things don’t work for everybody. So you need to try and see what works for you. There’s no simple fix.
The first thing that you want to do is reduce your activity levels, bouncing, running, and even walking in some cases, if it’s very severe.
So you want to give your feet some rest, if you can, in order to just bring down that pain. For some people, orthotics in their shoes can be helpful. They can provide support. I personally have high arches and I’ve had problems with plantar fasciitis, but for most people, if they have very flat feet, then that’s the reason that they develop this condition.
There’s too much stress on the fascia because the arches are not absorbing the shock as they should. When your plantar fasciitis is really aggravated, it’s better to wear shoes, even around the house, instead of going barefoot, because being barefoot just puts more stress on the fast you, and if you don’t like to wear shoes around the house, then at least a thick pair of socks can really reduce the pain that you’re feeling now.
Warm-Up In The Morning
In terms of specific strategies, it’s important to warm up. And this is particularly important.
First thing in the morning when you’ve been sleeping, everything is cold on the fascia’s really tight before you even get out of bed. It’s a good idea to warm the feet up a little bit. So the first thing I recommend is just point and flex. You’re going to go up and down point and flex for 10 times and then circles.
So you can do this either, both feet together or one at a time. I find it easier to do one at a time. You’re just doing circles in one direction, clockwise first, and then counterclockwise. So 10 clockwise, 10 counter-clockwise, and then do it with the other foot clockwise first and then counterclockwise. And then you can get out of bed.
Exercises For Plantar Fasciitis
There’s two exercises that I recommend for prevention and treatment of plantar fasciitis. One has actually been used in a research study.
The first one is towel curls, and you’re just going to use any old towel and you’re going to curl your toes, trying to build up the coordination and the strength of those toes. So that eventually when you’re walking properly, then you’re going to have that neuromuscular coordination down a little bit. So you’re just curling. You can bring the towel all the way in, but if it’s challenging. I think about 10 curls is plenty.
You can rest for about a minute and then try another 10 curls.
The second exercise is heel raises. This exercise is actually been used in research to help improve plantar fasciitis. What you’re going to do is come through and try to get full range of motion, come down and then lift up, pushing through the toes, coming up, wherever it’s comfortable for you, especially if you’re in pain, you want to be quite careful with this. So three sets of 10 to 12 reps is good for this one rest between those sets. So 30 to 60 seconds rest is great. Try to get the full range of motion. Whatever’s comfortable for you doing heel raises.
Every other day has been shown to provide improvement for plantar fasciitis after about three months.
So be patient.
Stretches For Plantar Fasciitis
I’m also going to show you three stretches. That can be helpful. A great time to do these stretches is immediately after performing the exercises, but you can also do the stretches throughout the day, every day, just to loosen things up.
So there’s two calf stretches. The first one is just leaning against the wall and then stretching the back calf. The other foot is not really involved. So just use that to stabilize, really pull gently. Don’t go too hard.
About 20 to 30 seconds is enough for this calf stretch. Then you can switch legs. Two sets of 20 to 30 seconds are enough. Sometimes it’s the tightness of the calf that contributes to the tightness in the foot. You really want to loosen that up.
That first stretch stretches out the gastrocnemius, the gastroc. And for this next stretch, we’re going to target the soleus, which is the other calf muscle.
You’re just going to bring the foot in closer to the wall. Same thing with this one 20 to 30 seconds, switch over your legs. And then 20 to 30 seconds. The other side.
Now, if your plantar fasciitis is really aggravated, then you can do this stretch three times a day, three sets, and then as it gets better, you can reduce it down. So you’re just doing it once a day.
And the third stretch is actually a foot stretch. So you’re going to pull your hand over top of the toes, pull it back and gently just kind of let that fast yet stretch out. It’s not going to get a lot of movement there. It’s not like a massive stretch or anything like that, but it will release a little bit of that tension.
You can also just grab one toe and kind of pull back.
With the toe stretch, you can do three sets of 20 to 30 seconds. I know that the thing you can use is ice. I like using an ice pack underneath my feet for about 15 to 20 minutes at the end of the day, just to kind of cool things down. It just reduces the burning and pain when it’s really, really aggravated. It may or may not help the actual condition itself, but it feels pretty good.
Ice and Anti-Inflammatory Medications For Plantar Fasciitis
Ice and anti-inflammatory medications can help with the pain, but they don’t actually seem to be effective at correcting the condition, but they can make things tolerable for you while you try to do the other methods. And by that, I mean the exercises, massage and stretching.
Another thing that you can do is foot massage. So you can do this for yourself. If you’re lucky enough to have someone else do it great. But if you’re doing this for yourself, you just kind of want to work around the tender areas. So you’re going to sit in a chair, bring the ankle up, and then you’re just going to massage the soul of your foot.
And then right up into the toes and you can do this, a couple of times a day when you’re really sore. It’s been shown that with six months of consistent treatment stretches and exercises, like I’ve just shown you 97% of plantar fasciitis will resolve itself.
So there is hope.
It sounds like a long time and a lot of people will get relief long before that. You might notice relief after just a few weeks, but I guess the point is just, don’t give up. If you’re not feeling that much better after a couple of months.
I really do hope that these tips will help you overcome your plantar fasciitis.