The best stretch and exercise for plantar fasciitis
Not a lot of people pay attention to their plantar fascia until they feel that they feel that pain at the bottom of their foot when they try to walk, run or do sport. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the connective tissue at the sole of your foot that forms your arch which plays a part in shock absorption when you weight bear.
How can I relieve my pain?
- Calf stretching
You calf consists of two different muscles called the gastrocnemius muscle and the soleus muscle. These muscles attach to the heel of your foot by your Achilles tendon. When these muscles are tight, they pull on your heel bone, resulting in a shortened plantar fascia. Taut plantar fascia = less shock absorption = inflammation.
- Self massage
This can be done for the calf muscles and the plantar fascia. For the calf muscles, use a foam roller to roll back and forth on the tight spots to help release the tension in your muscles.
You may use a golf ball, spikey ball or even a small frozen water bottle to roll the under side of your foot. You can adjust the amount of weight your are putting on as it may be uncomfortable to start with.
- Plantar fascia stretch
To stretch your plantar fascia, hold on to your foot and toes and pull it gently back until you feel a stretch. Remember, you do not want to pull it into pain. Hold your stretch for about 30 seconds and repeat a few times a day.
You may also benefit from some specific strengthening exercises of your lower limb so make sure you have a chat with your physiotherapist before going straight back to your previous level of physical activity. You physiotherapist will be able to come up with a structured, gradual return to sport program that targets your goals. Good luck!