What are the 3 most basic exercises for Plantar Fasciitis? Chad Madden, Physical Therapist, explains what plantar fasciitis is and 3 basic exercises to treat it.
Top Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis
By Martha Mackenzie
Pain in the heel or generalized foot pain can be caused by plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a narrow band of connective tissue along the underside of the foot, extending from the heel to the toes. The pain is most severe upon taking the first few steps after awaking each morning. Exercises for plantar fasciitis have been found to be effective in bringing down the inflammation and relieving pain.
The most common symptom of this foot disorder is a shooting pain at the heel. It is common in flat-footed people and may also be caused by walking or running, especially on hard surfaces. It is associated with uneven distribution of weight on the foot and is likely to affect pregnant women, elderly people, and overweight individuals.
There are a number of treatment methods for plantar fasciitis, and exercise is one of the most effective. These exercises are gentle and easy to perform, requiring only a few minutes each day but going a long way in relieving the pain. It is best to do these exercises for plantar fasciitis early in the day. Your doctor can give you specific instructions for an appropriate exercise program.
Stretching exercises help ease the pain. Stretch your hamstrings by sitting on the floor. Keep your legs straight in front of you, with the toes pointed up. Hold a towel in both hands and loop it around the toes of one foot. Pull the towel towards you and hold for 20 seconds. You should feel the stretch in your hamstrings. Relax, and repeat 20 times.
To stretch your Achilles tendon, start by standing facing a wall. Step forward with the good foot, leaving the affected foot extended behind you. Lean your body towards the wall while keeping both feet flat on the floor. Stretch in this position for 20 seconds and relax. Repeat 10 times.
Sit down with your legs crossed. Pull your toes towards you. Repeat this exercise 10 times on the foot with plantar fasciitis.
Stand on a stair with the balls of your feet. Hold the wall or handrail to keep your balance. Lower yourself to stretch your arches. Repeat 10 times.
A roll massage helps to relieve pain. Use a tubular device and roll it over the heels, maintaining just enough pressure to feel a slight discomfort in the affected area.
A great way to end your exercise routine for plantar fasciitis involves the use of a can of frozen fruit juice. Sit on a chair and place the can on the floor in front of you. Roll the can back and forth under the arch of your foot. This will help relax the plantar fascia while providing cold therapy on the inflammation.
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