Our feet are usually neglected in terms of care, but they are very important for our body as they are the ones that support our body weight while standing, walking, jumping or running. These processes can very easily trigger foot pain leading to plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is commonly manifested by heel pain resulting from the inflammation of the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting the toes to the heel. There are other symptoms of this condition like calf tightness, stabbing pain along the bottom of the feet, intense foot pain in the morning or after a performed workout, feet and toes cramping, feeling pain on touch and developing a palpable lump on the bottom of your foot near the heel.
This painful condition can impede your regular movements making you limp, and prevent you from running or walking up and down the stairs.
Common Reasons for Developing Plantar Fasciitis
- Inadequate footwear
- Lack of strength and stability along the arch of the foot
- Repetitive movements causing tearing
Treatment of Painful and Inflamed Plantar Fasciitis
In order to soothe the inflammatory process, you should apply ice to the painful, inflamed area for a period of time, 10 to 15 minutes, several times, per day.
Another way is the use of ice-bottle massage. Its use will relieve the inflammation, and the applied massage will gently stretch the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot.
However, probably the best way to treat heal foot pain is by introducing stretching exercises.
Several Stretching Exercises for Treating Plantar Fasciitis
These exercises target the area of the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon thereby strengthening the calves and improving the stability of the ankles and heel. For the performance of these exercises you will need only a yoga block and a tennis ball. You should perform them once to twice a day and thus alleviate your condition.
- Plantar Fascia Stretch
Place the yoga block on the ground, and then step the ball with the right foot onto its edge, but make certain that the heel remains on the floor. After that, bring the weight forward over the block in order to experience a stretch via your calf, ankle, and plantar fascia. Keep it for 30 seconds. Perform it twice on both sides.
- Calf Raises
For this stretch, you need to step up onto the yoga block with both feet. Put the hand on a wall, and start bringing the right heel down towards the floor. After that, start pressing up via the ball of the right foot and then start flexing the calf muscle at the top. Perform it 10 times, and after that switch your feet.
- Toe Stretch
You should step the ball of the foot and toes onto the center of the block, and then elevate the heel up in order to experience the stretch through the toes and plantar fascia. Keep it for 30 seconds. Change sides and do it three times.
- Tennis Ball Rollout
For this stretch you need to take a sitting position on a chair, and then place a tennis ball on the ground in front of your body. In order to alleviate the tightness in the fascia, position the arch of the foot on the ball, start to press a little bit and after that start rolling the foot over the ball. Apply some pressure over the ball so that to feel how the ball releases the tightness in the fascia.
Slowly start to roll the foot over the ball, starting from the toes and going to the heel. If you notice several tight spots pause on each and keep it for 30 seconds. After that, change sides.
- Toe Curl
For this foot stretch you will need to use the tennis ball again and then place the ball of the foot up on the tennis ball with your heel on the ground. Next, start curling the toes around the top of the ball, then squeeze a little bit, and start releasing the foot. Make sure to spread the toes wide, perform 10 repetitions, and after that switch feet.
- Heel Pump
The use of ball is still needed, and also the sitting position on a chair. Put the ball on the ground in front of you and lean the forearms onto your thighs. Next, put the heel on the top of the tennis ball, and squeeze the ball with your heel up and down. Perform these movements for 60 seconds, and after that change sides.
In order for your body to be healthy and in optimal condition, then you need to maintain your feet and ankles healthy. The performance of these stretches will be of great assistance in pain and discomfort relief thus reducing the risk of injury.
Tips for Healthy and Strong Feet
- Once your shoes wear off, replace them with new ones.
- Once your feet become painful, take a rest and get the treatment that your feet need so that to prevent any injury.
- Listen to your body and when it warns that it is enough, stop the ongoing activities.
- Make certain to wear supportive footwear for daily sports and activities.
- Prior initiating a workout or strenuous physical activity, follow a complete warm-up routine.
- Work on your flexibility and strength in order for your feet and ankles to function accordingly.
- Avoid uneven surfaces, especially when running and try not to run uphill too often.