- Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, the fibrous tissue that runs along the arch of the foot to connect the heel bone and ball of the forefoot.
- Heel spurs are not the same as plantar fasciitis; however, the two conditions are associated. Since the plantar fascia is subjected to great amounts of impact and pressure while supporting the foot’s arch, it can become inflamed and irritated. In some cases, it begins to deteriorate.
- Standing, running, and walking can cause and encourage the pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis.
- Treatment for plantar fasciitis is the same plan of attack to alleviate heel spurs: rest, ice application, exercises and stretches to alleviate tightness and pressure, and anti-inflammatory medications (always check with a doctor before taking any medication). Splinting the foot at night can also help stretch the plantar fascia. Surgery is necessary in some cases.
Plantar fasciitis can be prevented by wearing supportive, properly-fitting footwear, orthotics, heel pads or cushions, and stretching to keep the foot flexible.
Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis
- Always make sure your muscles are warm before stretching out! For example after a brisk walk!
- Stretches should be held for 20 - 30 seconds if possible! If you can, repeat five times
- The image below shows a good stretch to try with a 'Thera band'. You can use a towel to perform this stretch. I find using a towel much more pleasant! It gives a better grip and feels comfortable.
Make sure you are seated and place the towel lengthways under your foot on the 'arch' bit. Holding the ends of the towel, gently pull the top of your foot towards you, your knee will lift towards your chest, as you full your foot up. I find giving my toes a wriggle up and down helps stretch that Fascia!
Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat three times