Best exercises and stretches for plantar fasciitis. Tips, advice, and free exercise program for treating plantar fasciitis to help you feel better now.
Keep reading for the step-by-step guide of exercises.
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As previously mentioned, you’re going to treat plantar fasciitis (acutely inflamed) and plantar fasciosis (chronic scar tissue) a little bit differently. Next we’ll talk about what treatment options exist and which one will help you to “Feel Better Now”.
Plantar Fasciitis: If you’ve been experiencing foot/heel pain for less than two weeks that probably means you’ve got an acute inflammatory response in your plantar fascia.
That being said, it should respond well to anti-inflammatory measures. I recommend an oral anti-inflammatory (consult your physician to determine which one is most appropriate for you; my personal go-to is ibuprofen), rest as much as possible, and ice applied to the area 3-4 times per day (15-20 minutes at a time).
You should also be doing some gentle, regular stretching 3-4 times a day as outlined in exercises #1-6 in the exercise download below. You should notice a significant improvement in your pain within 2-3 days if you follow this program as outlined.
Plantar fasciosis: is a little (okay A LOT) more difficult to treat. Again because of the chronic inflammatory state of the ligament there is usually some scar tissue that has developed. All of the sudden we’re not simply dealing with chasing away inflammation so much as trying to treat a structural change in the tissue itself. We can best elicit this change in 3 ways:
Massage: Deep massage to the area where the plantar fascia inserts into the heel is a great way to encourage blood flow and healing in an area. Talk your husband/ wife/ boyfriend/ girlfriend/ mom/ dad/ whoever into spending 5-10 minutes a day working your foot over.
If a helper isn’t available, rolling a golf ball on the bottom of your foot is an excellent alternative. My go-to (another gem from Jared) is a frozen water bottle. Keep a bottled water in the freezer and roll your foot on that for 10 minutes a day to get a great ice massage on the bottom of your foot (see exercise #11 below).
At first, massage will probably be a little bit tender, but you should notice your tolerance improves with time and with that comes improved activity with decreasing foot pain.
Stretching: Comfortable stretching is a must in the treatment of plantar fasciosis. I emphasize comfortable here because stretching too aggressively can actually cause more harm than good.
Stretching must be very comfortable but then you do it multiple times during the day. Below I’ve listed 6 of my go-to stretches to help get rid of this bad boy (#1-6 in the exercise program below).
Please note that a lot of the stretching we’re doing is to the calf – a number of the fibers of the plantar fascia are actually continuous with the Achilles tendon fibers. Thus a thorough stretching of the plantar fascia will also include a good stretch to the calf as well. Check them out below.
Strengthening: Finally strengthening/stabilization of the foot to better support the plantar fascia is a must. We do this by strengthening the intrinsic foot muscles (exercise #7 below) as well as the calf (exercises #8-10 below).
One key principle in the treatment of any type of tendinopathy/fasciopathy is that of eccentric exercise. Basically an eccentric contraction is a “negative” – working the muscle while it’s slowly lengthening. This has proven to put a more positive strain on the area and help heal it more effectively.
That being said, we’re going to progress from straight heel raises (exercise #8 below) into eccentrics (exercise #10 below) as quickly as your pain will allow.
Here is your FREE download of exercises for your heel pain. Check them out and let me know if you have any questions. As always, I generate all of my home exercises on the amazing free website, HEP2go.com. These guys totally rock!
Best Exercises For Plantar Fasciitis
(Click the link or the pic to download the exercise program)
There you go! You’re now a plantar fascia guru.
CAN PLANTAR FASCIITIS GO AWAY ON ITS OWN?
Do not ignore and neglect your symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Do what you can at home to carefully treat your symptoms by following this guide above and doing the right stretches.
Everyone is affected differently and recovery time can depend on the severity of plantar fasciitis.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS TO GO AWAY?
One thing I have to mention – I opened this post by saying that this is kind of a bugger to treat.
Even with perfect care including the right stretching and strengthening you’re still going to be in this for the long haul and for that I’m sorry. 10-12 weeks is not uncommon for resolution of symptoms and I’ve even heard up to a year.
The key is going to be consistency! Stick with it even when there seems to be no progress being made. Be patient, be persistent, and I promise you that good things will come your way.
Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps.
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Disclaimer: The information presented in the “Feel Better Now” series is designed to be used for informational purposes only. The diagnoses and treatment plans outlined are extremely generalized and may or may not be the recommended interventions for your specific problem. If you are experiencing pain, you are encouraged to consult a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan that will be in your individual best interest. Tone and Tighten claims exemption from accident, injury, or perpetuation of any injury incurred while performing exercises found on this website. The user assumes all risk… and reward!!
By Jared Beckstrand