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Plantar Fasciitis: What You Can Do For Your Feet

plantar fasciitis exercises

If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, you know what I mean. Your feet hurt almost all the time, and you’re afraid to take your shoes off. More accurately, you’re afraid to put them back on.

Plantar fasciitis is a very painful, sometimes debilitating condition. It can affect your performance at work, at school and on the field. But there’s good news! Plantar fasciitis is easily diagnosed, and is fairly easy to treat as well. Here’s what you can do if you’ve been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis.

A Note About Self-Diagnosis

I love my customers, and it wouldn’t be fair to write this article for you without sharing this caveat. Before you diagnose yourself with plantar fasciitis, be sure to see a doctor. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a podiatrist. Just your general practitioner will do.

Foot pain can be caused by a number of factors. You could be diagnosed with arthritis, or even with a fracture that you were previously unaware of. Nerve damage is a possibility, and so is bone disease. You don’t want to self diagnose plantar fasciitis and miss something bigger which could be hazardous to your health.

If your doctor gives you the “all clear,” talk these tips over with her, and she can tell them if you’re healthy enough to, for instance, exercise. Remember that your general health comes first! Don’t put yourself at risk by missing a potentially dangerous condition!

Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis

That caveat aside, you’ve talked to your doctor and you’re ready to begin making your feet feel better! There are exercises you can do which will strengthen the muscles linked to plantar fasciitis. Try a few of these for starters.

Calf Stretches

Your calves are the most important muscles when it comes to preventing and treating plantar fasciitis. You can help to alleviate some of your pain simply by stretching your calves. Try this exercise in the morning.

 

  1. Stand about two and a half feet from a wall, then place your arms against the wall. Lean gently.
  2. Put one foot behind the other.
  3. Slowly, bend your front leg at the knee until you feel a gentle tug in the rear leg. Never bounce!
  4. Hold this position for anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds, then slowly rise.
  5. Reverse your legs, then repeat!

Plantar Fascia Stretch

I talked in a previous post about the plantar fascia. It’s the tendon that runs along the bottom of your foot, and when it becomes inflamed, it causes plantar fasciitis. You can help to prevent that inflammation by stretching the tendon itself. Here’s how.

 

  1. Sit comfortably in a chair, with your knees even to your hips.
  2. Roll one foot over a foam roller or a very cold soda can. Ever had a foot massage? This is almost as good!
  3. Switch feet, then repeat.
  4. Now it’s time to stretch your plantar fascia a different way. Cross one leg over your other knee.
  5. Hold your big toe firmly, then gently and slowly pull it toward you.
  6. Repeat with the other foot.

Tools You’ll Need for Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

There are a few tools of the trade which can help you to alleviate your foot pain. First of all, you know that I’m a huge advocate of wearing proper shoes. Don’t be afraid to go to an athletic gear store. The staff can check out your pronation and your arches, and recommend either a shoe or an insert that’s right for you.

Secondly, invest in a few good pairs of compression socks. They’re stylish now – none of those stockings that grandma used to wear. Compression socks and stockings are great for plantar fasciitis, as they’ll help to stabilize your feet and reduce swelling. They’re also a good tool for athletes, as they’ll help increase your blood circulation, and could even improve your athletic performance.

Finally, talk to your doctor about a night splint. I used to suffer from plantar fasciitis badly, and night splints were like a miracle cure for me. Night splints keep your feet at a 90 degree angle while you sleep. Normally, we sleep with our feet pointed down, which causes the tendon to shorten. The night brace will allow it to stretch as you sleep.

Other Tips to Reduce Plantar Fasciitis Pain

There are a few other techniques you can try to both prevent and alleviate pain from plantar fasciitis. One of these is massage. You can choose to self massage, working your thumbs from the heel to the toe in a gentle circular motion. Or, if you’re feeling especially indulgent, visit a massage therapist. Remember – pedicures aren’t just for women, either! Men will see great benefit from a pedicure, too!.

You might also choose to try acupressure. Acupressure is exactly what it sounds like. Your professional will apply pressure to “hot spots” on your feet. This pressure will numb your pain, providing a temporary relief. Some professionals will use a device that looks like a small bar. This bar will help to “reshape” your foot and eliminate heel spurs.

Reflexology is similar to acupressure, and can also be useful if you suffer from plantar fasciitis. Reflexology will help to increase the blood flow in your feet, improving the health of the tissues and muscles. This blood flow will also improve your circulation, reducing inflammation.

Rest, Rest, Rest!

I know it’s impossible for everyone to stay off their feet. But if you can manage it, please try to rest; it’s the easiest way to recover from plantar fasciitis.

When you go home after work or school, kick your feet up on the couch and apply ice to your heels. Then, slip on a pair of comfy compression socks to help your circulation. Take the night off! Don’t put your shoes back on until you have to, and when you do put them back on be sure that they fit you properly. Check that the insoles aren’t worn, or that your inserts don’t need replacement.

Plantar fasciitis hurts. But after you’ve been diagnosed by your doctor, there are quite a few ways that you can alleviate that pain on your own. Try these tricks, then let me know how you feel!

If you want the perfect compression for your feet, try our premium rated socks:

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