Exercises and foot stretches help with plantar fasciitis by building strength in your muscles, improving flexibility in the ligaments and muscles and eliminating pain.
Inflammation of the plantar fascia due to strain and overuse is the cause of the injury which doctors call plantar fasciitis. The tissue affected is found beneath the arch of your foot and inflammation on this tissue is what causes the stabbing heel pain that you feel.
Plantar fasciitis pain usually goes away within 6 months with no treatment. 6 months of steady, non-invasive treatment, recovery among plantar fasciitis patients is usually at 97%.
In this blog post, we take a close look at exercises for plantar fasciitis pain relief as well as other remedies that may help.
Stretching the plantar fascia
Plantar fasciitis is usually an injury caused by overuse. It is prevalent among runners or people who are obese or overweight. It also causes tension in the surrounding muscles, causing pain to be felt above the heel.
Some easy stretch exercises can eliminate tension in your calf and foot. This provides quick pain relief as well as improving symptoms over time.
You can do these stretching exercises up to three times daily and should NOT cause you any pain.
Stretch your calf and foot muscles with your toes using a face cloth or hand towel. Try doing towel curls before going about your day. your calf relieves any pain.
You can use a round object under your foot and roll it back and forth to relax tight foot muscles. If you do not have foam rollers, a golf ball or a rolling pin can do. Others opt to use a Hydragun to relax foot muscles.
Foot flexes improves the flow of blood in the problem area and eliminates tension in your calves, which then relieves pain. You can use elastic stretch bands for this exercise, which you can get online or from any sports supply store.
Tightness in the calf and foot muscles worsens plantar fasciitis pain. Relaxing muscles in Calf may reduce pain(1).
A number of home remedies can reduce the pain and inflammation of your plantar fascia:
At the first instance of pain, keeping your weight off the injured foot helps a lot. The RICE method includes:
- Rest for a few days.
- Ice the area to reduce inflammation (at least 15 minutes a day).
- Compress using a soft wrap to cut down on swelling.
- Elevate the injured area.
Over the counter NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) like ibuprofen, effectively reduces inflammation and pain(1). You can choose to take these types of medications either by your doctor’s recommendation or as directed on their packages.
Using a shoe insert
A shoe insert provides added support to the arch of the foot. They cut down the stress on your foot fascia, which is helpful for people who spend most of the day walking or standing.
Many people find massages help relieve plantar fascia pain. Using a Hydragun Massage Gun to focus on the arch of the foot and relax muscles is effective.
You can also massage the surrounding muscles – your legs and calf, specifically – if any of them have become tense due to the pain. Remember to not overdo using these handheld massagers. A 10-minute session a day is usually enough.
If any of the home remedies or stretch exercises do not help, doctors can recommend one of many medical treatments. Worst case scenario, you’d be recommended to undergo surgery.
Your doctor can suggest any of the following treatments:
- cortisone shots
- physical therapy
- shockwave therapy