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  • Writer's picturePursuit of Motion

Walking Through Plantar Fasciitis


"With increased activity can come a common overuse injury...plantar fasciitis."


Plantar Fasciitis Overview

With the beautiful weather on the way and an increase in outdoor activities, people have been out and about walking, running, and finding ways to stay active. This is great, but an increase in activity can come with a common overuse injury, Plantar Fasciitis. This can cause pain along the bottom of your foot and happens when the fascia, a long thin ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot, becomes irritated.


The plantar fascia is a thick band of fascia that runs from your heel bone to your toes, and it supports the arch of your foot. The fascia can become irritated for several reasons, including prolonged standing, increased walking and running, or tight calf muscles.


When it becomes irritated, people report feeling pain in their heel and along the bottom of their foot. Typically, it is worse in the morning during the first couple of steps or getting up to walk after a prolonged period of sitting. Symptoms may also increase throughout the day as you are on your feet. Do not fret! We are here to help!!


Exercises

Plantar fascia self-release exercises can help relieve some symptoms you experience. Performing these exercises can help prevent you from developing plantar fasciitis as well as improve current symptoms.


Using a lacrosse ball or a tennis ball, place the ball under your foot and roll it along the arch of your foot for 2 minutes, and if you find a tender spot you can also hold the ball in that spot. Be sure to avoid rolling the ball directly on your heel.


Throw a plastic water bottle in the freezer. Once frozen, use it to roll out your foot. This way you are getting some self-release while icing the tissue which can help with pain, double whammy!


Stretching your calf muscles can also help with plantar fasciitis. To do this: - -

  • Face a wall and place your hands against the wall to support you

  • Take a step back from the wall with one leg, and while keeping your back heel on the ground and your knee straight, slowly lean into the wall

  • You should feel a stretch along the back of your lower leg (gastrocnemius)

  • Next, gently bend the back knee to stretch the other calf muscle (soleus)

  • Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times


The last exercise will help strengthen the muscles in your foot, known as the foot intrinsic muscles. Research has shown that strengthening the foot intrinsic muscles has been shown to decrease pain and improve function.

  • While seated, place a towel on the floor in front of you, and curl your toes on the towel to scrunch it up under your toes. Think about lifting through your arch as you scrunch the towel.

  • Keep scrunching the towel until you have pulled it towards you, and then spread the towel back out flat and repeat this 5 times.


Let us know how these exercises go, if you have any pain or concerns just let us know!


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