Some of the Most Recommended Exercises

by David McCullough

Plantar fasciitis exercises are a form of treatment that podiatrists and medical professionals recommend to patients who want to reduce their heel pain, and fasten recovery times. Remember that the primary goal of these sorts of exercises is to reduce the stress and accompanying inflammation that damages the plantar fascia.

When implemented in accordance with other forms of treatment, such as behavior modification, and getting the appropriate footwear, plantar fasciitis exercises can provide relief to the majority of patients who may be suffering with a mild, to moderate case of this condition.

Exercises Before Getting Out of Bed

Patients who suffer from plantar fasciitis have a higher likelihood of experiencing foot pain in the morning after taking the first steps out of bed. This pain comes as a result of the tightening of the plantar fascia, which occurs during extended periods of inactivity, such as during a long night’s rest. By performing exercises that stretch the plantar fascia before the patient gets up out of bed and begins moving around the fascia will relax, and cause less pain throughout the foot.

To begin patients should begin stretching their affected foot by flexing it up and down about ten times. Next the patient should remain seated and begin to roll a circular object against the arch of their foot. Common items that are used during this activity include a tennis ball, racquet ball, or rolling pin.

If this exercise goes well, the patient should then progress into a standing position to continue the same movement. When finished the appropriate footwear should be worn instead of walking around barefoot, as this can protect the foot against further stress and added pressure that may reaggravate the fascia.

Exercises Throughout the Day

Patients can also benefit from plantar fasciitis exercises that are performed throughout the day. Common exercises that patients can benefit from include the Achilles Tendon Stretch, the Hamstring Stretch, the Calf Stretch, Marble Lifts, and the Towel Stretch.

Achilles Tendon Stretch: Patients must first find a step, or other kind of raised surface to perform this exercise. Upon doing so, patients should place themselves with their heel coming off the appropriate surface level in an up position. When ready, patients should slowly lower their heel into a down position by relaxing their calf muscles.

This down position should be held for about 15-20 seconds before raising the heel back up into the original position. This exercise should be performed 3-4 times as needed.

Hamstring Stretch: Patients should begin this hamstring stretch exercise by first extending one leg in front of the body with the foot in a flexed position. The other leg should be bent at the knee and slightly angled backward while the pelvis should be slightly tilted forward. This position should be held for about 15-20 seconds before switching legs.

The goal of this exercise is to stretch the back of the extended leg all the way up the calf and thigh, so patients should experience significant tension in these areas if the stretch if done correctly.

Calf Stretch: Patients should begin by first standing against a wall with their hands at about eye level. The leg that requires stretching should be placed behind the torso by about a full step. Patients should begin to stretch their forward leg at the knee to experience the appropriate stretching motion in the back leg. When contraction is felt, the position should be held for about 15-20 seconds, and then repeated for 3-4 times as needed.

Marble Lifts: Here’s a fun one that most patients enjoy. It consists of placing marbles on the floor next to a cup, or other sort of container. Patients should attempt to pick of the marbles with their toes, and then deposit them in the container with their affected foot. This should be repeated anywhere from 12-15 times as needed.

Towel Stretch: The towel stretch consists of acquiring a rolled towel at both ends and holding it under the ball of the affected foot. Patients should gently pull the towel toward their body while keeping their knees straight. This position should be held for about 15-20 seconds and repeated 3-4 times as needed.

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