Plantar Fasciitis is a top complaint by patients in the Podiatry Surgery office. It often presents among those who are very active, or on their feet for many hours at a time. The Plantar fascia is a tough fibrous band on the bottom of the foot that assists in providing shape, height, and support to the arch of the foot. Fasciitis or inflamed fascia in an inflammation of this fibrous band on the bottom of the foot and has tendency to become extremely painful and an every day nuisance to many people. Many runners experience this condition especially those with high arches, but can occur with flat feet, and those who are overweight.
If you find yourself in one of these categories try these following simple exercises to help stretch your muscles and decrease your risk of getting or worsening plantar fasciitis. If you already suffer from plantar fasciitis or feel the onset of symptoms associated with heel pain, make sure to check with your podiatry surgeon before starting any of these stretches as this could be a sign of a fracture or muscle tear that often presents in a like manner.
Reclined Leg Stretch: Lie on your back with your body extended and legs together. Bring your right knee to your chest while keeping your left leg on the ground. If you can’t bring your knee all the way to your chest that is okay. Just make sure your left leg is flat on the floor while you bring your right knee as close to your chest as possible. Place an elastic band around the arch of your right foot and hold the band with both hands. Extend your right leg until it is straight up in the air. Make sure your head and neck are relaxed on the ground and your back is flat. Hold for 30 seconds and then slowly bring your leg back to the ground and switch to the other leg. Repeat 3-5 times on each leg. This stretch is a great stretch for the hamstring, calf muscle and muscles around the back of the hip. What does that have to do with your feet? All these muscles connect to your foot and pull on the sole of your foot when it gets tight. Keeping them lose and well stretched may help prevent plantar fasciitis.
Basic Calf Stretch: Start out facing the wall. Place your hands on the wall, shoulder width apart. Place one foot behind the other keeping both feet flat on the floor. Bend your left knee slightly while keeping your right knee straight pressing your right heel into the ground until you feel a good stretch in your calf. Hold for 10-30 seconds and then switch legs. Do this on each leg 3-5 times.
Try these simple stretches on a regular basis (around 3-4 times a week, or more if possible) to help reduce your risk of getting plantar fasciitis or to help improve the heel pain you already have. Dr. Evan Merrill and his staff are here to help you if you find yourself with any sort of foot pain or problems. Make sure you visit our office at Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle LLC . We are here to help make your life easier and improve your foot health. Call us at 541-776-3338 or make an appointment online.