3 stretches to help with Plantar Fasciitis
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes and supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it can get weak, swollen, tender, and inflamed. Pain is presented on the heel and bottom of the foot and usually occurs when standing or walking. This is usually most pronounced in the morning when the foot is first placed on the floor. If you are interested, you can learn more about foot anatomy in general by clicking here.
Plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the ligament that supports your arch and repeated strain or activity can cause tiny tears in the ligament. As you can imagine, when the foot is on the ground a tremendous amount of force (the full weight of the body) is concentrated on the plantar fascia. This force stretches the plantar fascia as the arch of the foot tries to flatten from the weight of your body. This is just how the string on a bow is stretched by the force of the bow trying to straighten. Again, this leads to stress on the plantar fascia where it attaches to the heel bone.
These tears are normally repaired by the body. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel/foot pain. Plantar fasciitis can come from a number of underlying causes. Finding the precise reason for the heel pain is sometimes difficult.
What Can You Do About It?
Try to refrain from repetitive or intense activity such as; excessive walking, running, jumping.
- Ice 10 to 15 minutes 3-4 times a day to help decrease inflammation.
- Freeze a bottle of water and use it to roll under the arch of the foot for 10 minutes at the end of the day to decrease inflammation and stretch the tissue.
- Stretch the muscles and fascia throughout the day to help reduce inflammation and stiffness.
Here are 3 stretches that will help with Plantar Fasciitis:
- The Great Toe Stretch – Bend your big toe upward, enough to feel a strong stretch, but not uncomfortable in the bottom of your foot through your arch. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times per day.
- The Gastroc Stretch – Maintain back leg (affected side) straight, heel on the floor. Lean forward towards the table/wall until a stretch is felt in the affected side calf. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times per day.
3. The Soleus Stretch – Maintain both knees bent in a lunge stance with heels on the floor. Lean towards the table/wall until stretch is felt in the lower calf. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times per day.
What can I do if my pain doesn’t go away?
Our physical therapists are experts in exercise prescription and program design. We can help you create a routine specific to your needs, expectations, and goals to help alleviate your foot pain and discomfort.
Barkman and Smith Physical Therapy wants to help you heal faster and get you back to normal life, with a focus on function. That means our PTs want to help you get back to meaningful things like going to work, recreational activities, hobbies, or playing with grandkids. We have learned that being able to return to things like that means a lot more to you. And, it feels good to be a part of making that happen.
At our three physical therapy clinics in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas, we strive to be partners with you to help you recover pain-free movement. Our customized programs follow an intensive assessment and include home-exercise components for a speedy and complete recovery.
Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have.
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