Maybe these are thoughts that you have had. You are in great shape, you run 3-5 miles a day, and yet you woke up one morning with this intense pain in your heels. Chances are you have what they call “plantar fasciitis.” These two words may seem scary and daunting, but you are in luck, because plantar fasciitis can be treated at home, and given time will improve greatly or go away.
There are many ways to go about TREATING PLANTAR FASCIITS, but perhaps one of the best treatments for plantar fasciitis is stretching. Yes, you may be wearing PLANTAR FASCIITIS SOCKS , icing your heels a couple times a day, and taking ibuprofen regularly, so stretching may be the icing on the cake.
Stretching is not only a great way to treat plantar fasciitis and even Achilles tendon; regular stretching will even help prevent future occurrences.
Seated Toe Pull
Cross one leg over the other leg. With the crossed leg, grab your big toe and pull it towards you. Hold this position for 20 seconds, release, rest five seconds and repeat three more times. Reverse leg positions and do the same with your other foot.
Seated Toe Lift
Sit with your knees bending at a 90 degree angle. Simply raise the toes and arches upward while keep the heels flat on the ground. Hold for 20 seconds, and repeat three times.
Seated Roll Out
Using a massage ball, foam roller, or even a frozen water bottle, place in the arch of your foot. Roll the ball back and forth from the heel to the toes of your feet, placing pressure on the arches. Keep rolling for 90 seconds each foot.
Place a rubber band around the toes of your foot. Make sure it is taunt, if not double it. While seated spread your toes out for 5 seconds, repeating about 10 times each foot.
Find an exercise band, or in a pinch a folded towel (making into a strap). While seated lift your foot of the ground, placing the band across the arch of the foot. Grabbing the ends of the band, start pulling the toes toward your until you feel a nice stretch. Hold for 20 seconds, repeating two more times. Switch feet and repeat.
Raised Toe Wall Stretch
Standing almost against the wall, bring your right foot toes up onto the wall. Bending your left knee (leaning into it), try and get as much of your right forefoot against the wall as you can. Straighten out the left leg, and start leaning against the wall, feeling and intense stretch in the right calf. Hold for 40 seconds, switch feet, and repeat up to 3 times each. For variation, you can turn toes outward and inward to assist with stretching different parts of your calves.
Wall Assisted Calf Stretch
Stand with your palms against a wall, and your arms fully extended. Lunge back with your left leg, keeping it straight, while bending the right knee as you lunge. Keeping the left foot straight with heel on the ground, lean into the bend of your right knee feeling the stretch in the back calf. Rock back and forth on the right knee for 30 seconds, then switch positions and do reverse. Repeat 3 times
Stand about arm's length from the wall for balance if necessary. Roll back on the heels of your feet while stretching the toes up toward you. Roll now, onto the balls of the feet into a calf stretch. Continue rocking back and forth from heels to toes for 1 minute.
Using a step of a staircase or an aerobics’s step, place the toes of the right foot, on the edge of the step, with your heels hanging off. Your left leg is tucked behind you. Perform a calf raise. Then while counting down from 10, slowly lower your heel of the right foot below the step. Count down from 10 as you lower your heel, letting the final number be when your heel is at its lowest. Repeat with the other foot.
Elevated Calf Stretch
Use same position as in the Wall Assisted Calf Stretch, but place a book, a 1” weight/block where your back toes would be. Allow your heel to hang off the book, and perform the same stretch. For variation, rotate the left knee from a 12 O' Clock position to an 11 O' Clock position. When the right foot is back, rotate the knee from a 12 O' Clock position to a 1 O' Clock position.
HINTS AND THOUGHTS:
You may be wondering, if you have plantar fasciitis and your feet hurt, why you are doing calf stretches. Believe it or not, the muscles of your calves, the Achilles tendon, and your plantar fascia all coordinate to work together. One reason people begin to develop plantar fasciitis is because their calf muscles might be too tight. So it is pulling on the back of the heel, inflaming the plantar fascia.
A system of exercises that work both the feet and the calves are essential in helping to bring healing from plantar fasciitis, as well as, keep it at bay. Regular stretching will often be all you need to prevent this from happening to you.
If you are a runner, I might also suggest taking it easy on the running, while you heal. For you, stretching is even more essential, because that repeated hammering of your feet against the asphalt is one of the major causes of plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is no joke. The pain is intense, and often a person is willing to try almost anything to ease some of the pain. My advice is to take exercising your calf and feet muscles seriously. Know that you can repeat any or all of these exercises throughout the day as needed. If necessary, go see a doctor and get medical assistance.
And as always, stay healthy so you can stay fit!
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