Plantar fasciitis is a foot injury caused by inflammation, strain, and overuse of the ligaments on the plantar fascia, which connects the toes and the heel. There are some exercises to relieve Plantar Fasciitis. It is important to heal this because this condition affects the tissue under the arch of the foot and can also cause a sharp pain in the heel. More common than you think, there are plenty of patients suffering from symptoms related to plantar fasciitis—which means, you’re absolutely not alone!
When Left Alone
You might have heard that plantar fasciitis can heal itself.
Without any kind of treatment, plantar fasciitis can resolve itself within 6-18 months. However, if you’re feeling some serious discomfort or pain, it might not be in your best interest to let it work itself out.
Although, the numbers are definitely in your favor. 97 percent of patients with fasciitis generally recover within 6 months of consistent, nonoperative treatment which can be nonoperative.
Part of the treatment includes working on the area that may perhaps cause you the most pain.
This article will give you information on the best exercises and foot stretches that relieve plantar fasciitis by improving the strength of the muscles and encouraging flexibility in the foot ligaments and muscles.
Exercises to Relieve Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is often an overuse injury that occurs in people who are obese, overweight, runners, and even pregnant mothers who are carrying more weight than they are normally accustomed to.
This condition causes tension in the surrounding muscles which may lead to pain in other parts of the body—beyond just the heel.
The following simple stretches can help in reducing the tension in the calf and foot. They offer a rapid relief of the pain and can help steadily improve symptoms with time.
If you have plantar fasciitis, you can perform these stretches two or three times daily:
Stretching the Calf
Plantar fasciitis can be worsened by the tightness of the muscles in the calves and feet. You can loosen the calf muscles to relieve the pain by doing the following stretches:
- Find a wall where you can place your hands on.
- Straighten the knee of the feet affected by plantar fasciitis while bending forward the other knee.
- Make sure that both your feet are flat on the ground.
- You should feel a sensation of stretching in the calf and heel of the extended leg.
- Remain in this position for 10 seconds.
- Repeat the above steps two to three times.
You can loosen the muscles of your feet by rolling an object back and forth under your feet. The object should be round which can be a golf ball, rolling pin or a foam roller specifically designed for this purpose.
You can find foam rollers for the foot in an online store or a store selling sports equipment—if you have a tennis ball lying around, you can also use that, too.
Follow the following steps to stretch your foot using a roller:
- Find a comfortable chair where you can sit tall on it.
- Place the round object under the arch of your feet and roll it for 2 minutes.
- Repeat for two to three times.
Stretching the Plantar Fascia
The following steps will help you loosen the tight muscles in the plantar fascia:
- While sitting on a chair, put your injured leg over the knee of the other leg.
- Using the opposite hand, hold your injured foot.
- To create tension in the arch of the affected foot, pull the toes towards your shin using your fingers.
- Use the other hand to feel the tension in the plantar fascia by placing it on the bottom of the foot.
- If it is difficult for you to hold your feet with your hand, use a towel instead.
- Hold for 10 seconds.
- Repeat the steps two to three times.
Foot flexing can help relieve the pain by increasing the flow of blood to the affected area and reducing the tension in the calves.
You will need an elastic band to perform this exercise, which you can buy online or at a sports shop.
The following steps will help you do the foot flexes:
- Sit on the floor and make sure that your legs are straight.
- Hold the ends of the elastic band and wrap it around your feet.
- Slowly stretch your toes so that they will be pointing away from your body.
- Gently return the toes to the initial position.
- Repeat these 10 times.
You can stretch your calf and foot muscle by curling a towel or facecloth using your toes. You can do this exercise in the morning before any task or walking.
The following steps will help you:
- While sitting on a chair and your feet is flat, place a small towel in front of your feet.
- Using your toes, grasp the centre of the towel.
- Use your toes to curl the towel towards you.
- Relax your feet and then repeat the steps five times.
You can stretch and flex your foot muscle by picking up marbles using your toes. You can do this using the following steps:
- Bent your knees while sitting on a chair.
- Your feet should be flat on the floor.
- Place a bowl and marbles at your feet.
- Curl your toes and pick one marble at a time and put it on the bowl.
- Repeat these steps 20 times.
This video will help you do some of the stretches: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfVZ_j2or3U
Work Through Your Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis does not necessarily need treatment since it can heal on its own after a little time.
However, it may become chronic to some people and it is important to see a doctor when the symptoms persist. Studies have shown that people who have experienced this condition before have high chances of getting it again.
If you have plantar fasciitis you can speed up the recovery process and relieve the pain by doing the above exercises and stretches. If the pain still persists—even after regularly performing these exercises, visit your doctor to receive the medical attention you need.