Plantar fasciitis is a condition that creates a stabbing pain in the heel of your foot. This issue emerges due to inflammation in the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes (also known as the plantar fascia). It tends to occur in the morning when you first begin moving around, then decreases as the day goes on. Luckily, there are ways you can help yourself with foot and ankle treatment for plantar fasciitis.
However, long periods of standing, long stretches of sitting, or exercise can cause issues to flare up. Here are some exercises that can soothe the symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis.
Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis & Common Risk Factors
Who is Most Commonly Affected by Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is most common among people who spend a lot of time on their feet. When an individual with this condition rests, it tends to stiffen the heel area. This stiffness then creates pain (ranging from dull aching to stabbing) when the patient stands. Going up and down the stairs, playing sports, and long-distance running can be especially difficult for people with Plantar Fasciitis.
Additionally, age and weight tend to play a role in the condition. Middle-aged individuals (40-60) are at the highest risk, as well as those who are overweight. It is also much more common if you are flat-footed or an athlete.
If you have plantar fasciitis, it is important to contact a physical therapist. From there, you can work together to create an individual treatment program that works for you. It can be difficult to manage foot pain, so it’s helpful to speak with an expert and learn all you can.
Here are some exercises for plantar fasciitis that can alleviate symptoms right at home:
For this, your movements should be slow and controlled. Hold on to something (such as a railing) for support. These will be done on the edge of a step.
- Stand with the balls of your feet at the edge
- Gently lower your heels just below the edge
- Rise onto the balls of your feet
- Repeat 10 times, two sets. Rest in between.
- Do this daily.
Tennis Ball Roll
- Use a tennis ball or other cylindrical object. Put it under your foot and roll it underneath the arch of your foot. Be sure to be gentle.
- Do this for 5 minutes twice per day
- While seated, put a towel underneath your foot. From there, try to scrunch the towel using your toes. Then, curl your toes the opposite way.
- This exercise can be done 10 times, once or twice per day
Ankle Inversion With Resistance
- This requires you to sit on the floor and have access to an elastic exercise band
- Sit upright with your legs straight. Do not move your hips
- Place your left leg over the right with your resistance band around your upper foot and tied it around the bottom of your lower foot. Hold the resistance band in one of your hands.
- Move your upper foot away from your lower foot. Be slow, gentle, and intentional. Rotate your ankle inward and return to the starting position
- Do this once a day, 10 times, two complete sets per foot
Stretches for Plantar Fasciitis
Here are some additional stretches for plantar fasciitis to ease pain and relieve symptoms.
- While seated, push your leg out with your heel on the floor. If possible, grab your big toe and bend it backward. Flex your ankle upward, away from the floor.
- Perform for 30 seconds, two to four times. This can be done multiple times per day
- Put a towel around your foot. While in a seated position, extend your leg out in front. Pull the towel towards you. Keep your leg stable. Make sure to be gentle.
- 45 seconds, 3 times. This can be done up to 6 times per day
Let Diablo Foot & Ankle Help
If you are struggling with pain due to plantar fasciitis, Diablo Foot & Ankle can help. Go to our website to request a consultation today. Our Board-Certified Podiatrists, Dr. Elmi and Dr. Essapoor, are ready to serve you!
Common Podiatry Questions
What is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle.
What does a Podiatrist treat?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the feet. They can treat conditions such as ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.
What’s the difference between a Podiatrist and Orthopedist?
A Podiatrist and Orthopedist are very similar to each other in many ways. They use most of the same tools and treat a lot of the same conditions. The main difference between the two is their medical training. Podiatrists are trained exclusively on the foot and ankle, whereas the Orthopedic is trained on the whole body with an additional year of training on the foot and ankle.