Since I was diagnosed with Plantar fasciitis I keep hearing about stretching and strengthening my feet. I did not find anyone who can organize the essentials of what to do and what not to do.
and more questions with no answer. So I have made a little research on the subject and here are the conclusions with a plantar fasciitis exercises review.
Plantar fasciitis is a foot disorder in the bottom of the foot usually around the heel. You can read more about it in our page about Plantar fasciitis. That pain is felt especially when taking the first steps in the morning or after spending some time off the feet. This pain is caused by an injury of the fascia connective tissue at the bottom of the foot. This tissue is called the plantar fascia and it connects the heel bone to the toes. Usually this injury is caused by overuse or overload of the foot. Heel pain remission time can be very long because overloading the foot is a part of the patient’s daily routine and the foot gets injured repeatedly.
The foot is a very complex mechanical structure. Each foot is assembled from 26 bones, 33 joints, more than a 100 muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves - Yes in one foot. The human foot mechanism is even more complicated and is a little bit different in every individual. The plantar fascia ligament part in the foot mechanism is to keep the foot longitudinal arch structure. It acts almost like a bow string. But this structure is kept also by the other parts of the foot especially the foot's small muscles. If you exercise your feet this whole structure will get stronger. Stronger foot muscles can support the plantar fascia keeping it from another injury. Stronger feet can make the difference between a chronic heel pain and a treatable foot disorder.
There are a lot of different plantar fasciitis treatments but there is no one treatment that works for everyone. Treatment techniques can be simple, like applying ice on the foot, or very complicated like surgery. One of the most common and effective treatments is exercise. Exercise is reported in scientific research as a very effective treatment, you can do it anytime anywhere and it does not cost anything. Applying some of the following exercises in your daily routine (2-3 times a day) will make your recovery faster and will keep your feet stronger.
Plantar fasciitis exercises consist of two different groups. The first group of exercises is foot strengthening and the second is stretching. In the first part of this page we will review the first group of plantar exercises, the foot strengthening exercises. In the second part we will review the second group of exercises plantar fasciitis stretches.
Generally whenever you perform an exercise you should not feel pain. If you do feel pain you must stop. The foot strength exercises are not suitable for the painful stage of plantar fasciitis. Wait for an inflammation reduction and pain relief before you start strengthening your foot. Please consult your physician before you perform any of the following exercises.
The feet have an important role in keeping balance, posture, gait and overall health. Good balance is essential for daily routine as well as sport performance. You can easily improve your foot flexibility and movement, as well as muscle strength, with these plantar fasciitis foot exercises. These exercises work systematically on the foot joints and muscles, tendons and ligaments. Though you are not always motivated or energetic, plantar fasciitis foot exercise is the basis for your recovery and return to normal life.
In this part we will review the second group of exercises the foot stretching exercises.
The stretching exercises are being used to make muscles and soft tissue longer and more flexible. Short and tight calf muscle may be one of the reasons to the heel pain. Therefore you should stretch your calf muscle and Achilles tendon on a regular basis as long as you keep treating your foot pain. Stretching the plantar fascia at the bottom of your foot is important for keeping a large motion range while walking without injuring the fascia.
Generally whenever you perform a stretch exercise you should not feel pain. If you do feel pain you must stop. You should either use less power on your stretch or perform a different exercise. If you feel strong pain in your foot don’t perform the body weight stretches. Be careful not to overstretch your feet - there are reported cases of people that hurt themselves even more while stretching too much. Before you perform any of the following exercises please consult your physician.
Here are the most popular and efficient plantar fasciitis stretching exercises:
Stretching is a very simple treatment – everyone can do it everywhere, no equipment is needed and no effort is required. Yet it is a very powerful treatment technique. There is much scientific medical research evidence that shows significant heel pain relief for groups that used to stretch on a regular basis. Make it a habit to stretch at least twice a day using two or more of the above exercises (no need for all of them) and your painful foot disorder will be gone much faster. A good stretching routine is a very strong base for a plantar fasciitis treatment plan.
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