Plantar faciitis is something that has both athletes and non-athletes visiting us here at American Foot and Leg Specialists in search of relief. The plantar fascia is a flat band of tissue that links your heel bone and your toes. This is why people suffering from the condition experience pain when walking or standing on their heels. While this condition is common in middle age, it can actually strike at any time. Athletes, soldiers and even active youngsters often strain the plantar fascia. Any repetitive motion like running or aerobic exercise can cause the plantar fascia to tear. Even weight gain and pregnancy can put extra pressure on this area of the foot and create symptoms. The good news is that there are actually some simple stretching exercises that anyone can do to lessen the weakness, swelling and irritation that accompany plantar faciitis.
The Signature Plantar Fascia Stretch
You’ll need to have a chair and some other props ready for this first stretch. Grab a foam roller or improvise with a frozen bottle of water. You will need to take a seat and roll your foot over the roller in a back-and-forth motion for about a minute. It’s really as simple as that.
The Plantar Fascia Towel Stretch
You will need an exercise strap to do this next stretch. However, you can just improvise with a folded hand towel if you don’t have one. Sit on a chair and place the towel under the arch of your foot. You’ll need to use both of your hands to grab the ends of the towel and gently pull your foot upwards toward your body. You will want to hold the pose for between 15 and 25 seconds. This stretch can be done in sets of three.
The Calve Stretch
Stretching your calves can actually create great results for soothing pain or discomfort caused by plantar faciitis. You’ll want to position yourself about an arm’s length away from a wall to get started. The next move is to place your right foot behind your left foot. You can now gently bend your left leg to the forward position. Be mindful that you’re keeping your knee straight and that your right heel is not leaving the ground. This pose should be held for between 15 and 25 seconds. It is best done in sets of three. You will also want to reverse the position to stretch both of your calves.
The Morning Plantar Fascia Stretch
What you do before you get out of bed in the morning can have a big impact on how your heels will feel all day. In fact, the most important move you make all day could be the stretch you do before you’re even fully awake. Simply take an extra moment before jumping out of bed to flex each foot 10 times. This will get your foot in the right shape to deal with the pressure of standing on the ground. You can also take an extra minute to very gently massage the bottom of your foot before placing your feet on the ground.
The Marble Strengthening Stretch
This last exercise is definitely a little more challenging than the others. However, it can help to strengthen your feet and reduce discomfort. You will need to dump a small pile of marbles or stones on the floor beside a cup. You must then try to use your toes to lift each marble from the floor and place it inside the cup. This is one of the exercises highlighted for being effective for offsetting muscle loss and stiffness in a recent study conduced by Harvard’s Institute for Aging Research.
Is Foot Pain Making Life Uncomfortable?
There’s no need to suffer with the pain of plantar faciitis or bunions any longer. Make the next step you take in the direction of American Foot and Leg Specialists. Our four locations in Fayetteville, Forest Park, Locust Grove and Stockbridge are here to serve people in Georgia suffering from foot pain or discomfort. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions and help you get relief.
The information and stretching exercises contained within this article are not intended to be taken as medical advice. No information provided here can or should replace the professional medical advice of a physician. Ask your physician or physical therapist about the exercises that will work best for you before beginning any type of regimen. Our staff will be more than happy to provide you with additional information if you book an appointment with one of our physicians in your area.
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