Get Moving! 7 Awesome Plantar Fasciitis Exercises [Loosen Up]
Plantar Fasciitis is a literal pain in the foot. Good news is, with a little movement here and there, the foot pain associated with the condition can be relieved. In many cases, taken care of altogether. So, before you put that compression sleeve on your foot in the morning give some of these exercises a shot.
7 Awesome Plantar Fasciitis Exercises
- Calf Stretch
- Tennis Ball Roll
- Toe Stretch (pull toes back)
- Ice Massage (can or water bottle)
- Stair calf stretch
- Balance Exercises
- Hamstrings Stretch
The classic calf stretch is a great place to start limbering up the lower leg. Simply find a wall and stand at arms length. Place the leg you want to stretch back, straighten it, and hold for a 10 count.
Tennis Ball Roll
Remember how we talked about Plantar Fasciitis being the tightening of the fascia on the underside of your foot? Here’s how you loosen that up.
Grab a tennis ball and a chair. Sit in the chair, and place your foot on the tennis ball, letting the weight of your leg do the work, and roll the ball around.
Repeat for 10-15 rolls in each direction and then switch feet. Repeat each foot as necessary.
This is just like the calf stretch only instead of bending your foot back to stretch your calf muscle, you will be bending only your toes.
Again, this helps to stretch out the fascia on the underside of the foot.
Hold for a 10 count, switch feet, and repeat. Do 3 reps for each foot.
Ice Massage Roller
Inflammation is a marker of Plantar Fasciitis. In fact, that’s basically what PF is…an inflamed fascia.
In order to decrease that inflammation, we need ice. Ice, ice, and more ice. The easiest way to get ice on the bottom of your foot is to do an ice bottle or ice can roll. Think tennis ball roll, only with a frozen bottle of water.
Be careful with the can as it will explode if left in the freezer for too long.
A better option would be to get this Gaiam Restore Hot/Cold Foot Massage Roller. That way you won’t need to freeze bottles and cans all the time.
Plus, you can use it to go dual hot/cold action. Many pro athletes go back and forward with cold and hot. The point of the cold is to lower the inflamation and the point of the hot is to increase blood flow through the fascia which will make recovery quicker.
Stair Calf Stretch
Same ol’ calf stretch but now that you’re warmed up, you’re going for more depth and more stretch.
Find some stairs, hang half of one foot off, and drop it slowly. Hold for a count of 10, switch feet, and repeat for 3 reps.
This one is less of a stretch and more of a dynamic exercise. Dynamic exercises are great for building back up strength needed for the parts of our body to perform at their peak.
This is an easy one too. Just balance on one foot for as long as you can. Make a game out of it. Set a timer, or count as high as you can until you cannot balance anymore, then switch feet.
As you are balancing, your foot will be working to keep you in one place, strengthening the fascia at the bottom of your foot and thereby working to relieve the plantar fasciitis.
One of the biggest cause of injury is an imbalance between muscle groups. For example, often times, people with shoulder pain, may actually have some problem at the chest insertion. Folks with back pain can often times be found to have tight hamstrings.
Same here with plantar fasciitis. Your hamstrings lead down into your calves, and your calves lead down into your heel, your heel into the fascia at the bottom of your foot and so on.
The idea is, it’s all one big connected moving machine. So all the parts need to be limber.
To do a hamstring stretch, simply keep your legs straight, bend slowly at the waist and count to 10.
If you have back trouble, find a chair by a wall, and put one leg up on the chair. Straighten the leg out, lean forward slightly until you feel a stretch, and count to 10.
Repeat for reps of 3 for each leg.
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