6 Ways to Alleviate Your Plantar Fasciitis PainNov 06, 2020
Delina Korbel, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Whether you're currently on the mend from your plantar fasciitis pain, have no symptoms, or the pain is getting worse the following exercises can help ease the pain and prevent the symptoms from returning.
Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common foot conditions treated by physical therapists. Almost every week over the past 5 years I have had at least 1 patient coming to see me with foot pain or heel pain. This is likely because Plantar Fasciitis occurs in approximately 2 million Americans each year.(1) The common complaints I and many other Physical Therapist hear is pain along the bottom of the foot/heel, pain that is worse during the first few steps in the morning, worse with standing/walking after a period of rest, or their heel pain will lessen as activities increase but worsen towards the end of activity or day. Have you felt these? These are all common telltale signs of Plantar Fasciitis. Maybe it’s just a nuisance for you or maybe it is so debilitating that it even limits your ability to work and get necessary things done at home.
Do you fall into the category above? It is possible that your pain could be from another source in the foot or ankle pain that presents differently than plantar fasciitis. Common “other” complaints we hear are burning/numbness and tingling, ankle sprains, and Achilles tendon pain. The good news is you can still do many of the exercises below to work on these same issues. Go ahead and try it out! If it hurts I recommend stopping and not pushing through pain.
Today, I am going to take you through a series of exercises that can help you to alleviate your foot pain, as well as tips to make them more challenging as your strength increases. Many of my patients try these exercises and can see and feel the immediate difference. Take just 7 minutes and give your foot the flexibility and strength it needs to keep you up and ready to keep on moving!
** Tip: Make sure your arches do not collapse and cause pain, if they do you can try this exercise in your tennis shoes
** Tip: If you are really tight in your calf and you cannot move very far forward that is completely okay! However, it does mean that you need to be diligent with this exercise and repeat it 4-5x per day!
2.Foam Rolling or Soft Tissue Massage to Calf
**Tip: Many people will also take a golf ball or tennis ball or frozen water bottle and roll out the arch of the foot along the plantar fascia.
3. Strengthen your Ankle Muscles with this Progression
** Tip: I prefer to start these exercises in sitting because of the challenging mechanics and because it is an easy exercise to do before you stand up to help with pain during these transitional times.
** Tip: It takes 4-6 weeks to wake a muscle up and 6-8 weeks to strengthen it. Don’t quit early and you will see great results in your strength.
4. Glute Activation and Strength
** Tip: If you do not feel your glutes activating try putting one hand on your back pocket area and squeezing heels together as you lift
** Tip: Too easy?? No problem. Hold your knee up in the air for 30-60 seconds or until other muscles try to be helpful
5. Short Foot
**Tip: This is a great exercise because when your foot is in this shortened position the plantar fascia is not being overworked or overstretched.
**Tip: Too easy? Start in sitting and progress to trying this with sit to stand, with standing, and eventually balancing on one leg
6. Single Leg Balance
** TIP: In the beginning if you can practice in front of a full-length mirror to help correct posture.
I hope this generalized plantar fasciitis program can help give you relief to some of the symptoms you are facing. Know that you are not alone and that we at Evergreen Physical Therapy Specialists are here to help you! If you are interested in a more specialized individual program do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Get out, be active and stay healthy! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Evergreen Physical Therapy! We would love to be your guide to getting life back on track! We can create customized programs to help you meet your goals and maintain accountability.This is not medical advice, please reach out to your physical therapist or physician if you have specific questions or pain. You can reach us at 626.683.8536..
Delina Korbel is a Doctor of Physical Therapy specializing in orthopedics and return to sport injury prevention and concussion management. Her expertise has helped athletes of all skill levels enhance their performance through personalized training.
To schedule a free consult with Delina, call us at (626) 683-8536 or request an appointment here!
- J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2008: 38 (4): A1-A18. Doi:10.2519/jospt.2008.0302 “Heel pain – Plantar Fasciitis”
- Photo: https://www.rolfingchattanooga.com/post/2018/03/15/plantar-fasciitis-treatment
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