There are many causes for plantar fasciitis, including weak foot muscles, extra pressure due to obesity, incorrect footwear, or even stress from exercise, particularly running. Because of these different factors that can cause this pain, it is a difficult to find a cure. But there are many exercises that can relieve it and help to strengthen the muscles and tissues.
For those suffering from plantar fasciitis, these simple exercises will help to stretch and strengthen the damaged tissue, relieve the pain, and speed up the recovery process.
1. Plantar fascia stretch
Hold the heel of the foot in one hand and gently bend the toes up, hold, and then bend them down, holding again. Repeat this exercise a few times to stretch the plantar fascia, and the Achilles tendon.
2. Standing calf stretch
Using a chair or wall for support, place the pained foot flat on the floor behind the body, with the knee straight. Put the other foot forward, slightly bent at the ankle and knee, so the body is leaning forward. Stretch the back ankle and calf for a few seconds, and then repeat on the other side.
3. Thera-band toe flexion
This exercise is very common among those suffering from plantar fasciitis. With leg stretched out straight in front, cover the sole of the foot with the band so one end is over the toes and the other comes out behind the heel. Hold the band firmly with the hands and slowly curl the toes downward against the band. Hold this position, and then ease the toes back up.
4. Sitting thera-band foot raises
Sitting in a chair with knees bent, place one end of the band around the foot of the ankle to be exercised. Run the band beneath the other foot and up the leg to the knee to be held in the hand. Lift the wrapped foot up, hold it in this position, and slowly lower it.
5. Sitting thera-band ankle eversion
The band should be held the same as in the Thera-Band Foot Raises, but this time, instead of raising the foot, push it outward, away from the other foot, hold, and slowly bring it back in. Be sure to keep the knee straight and only rotate the ankle.
6. Sitting thera-band ankle plantarflexion
Sitting in a chair, stretch the leg with the ankle to be exercised out in front. Wrap the band around the foot, and hold the ends tightly with the hands at the waist. Push the foot down towards the floor and hold it, then slowly ease it back up.
7. Great toe stretch
Put the big toe of the pained foot on a foot roller. With the rest of the foot on the ground, apply pressure to the foot roller with the foot. The stretch should be felt in the bottom of the foot. Hold this for 15 seconds and then release.
8. Plantar massage
With a foot roller beneath the bare foot, use a bit of pressure to slowly it from the heel to the ball of the foot and back. Continue this motion for about 5 minutes.
9. Toe pick-up
Place a small round hand exerciser on the ground. Pick it up with bare toes and put it back down again. Repeat this exercise a few times, starting with a beginner hand exerciser, and progressing with a firmer one as the foot is strengthened.
10. Strengthening toe flexion
With a hand exerciser on the ground, gently curl it with bare toes, squeezing and then releasing. Use the beginner hand exerciser, and progress to the firmer ones as the foot is strengthened.
Any of these exercises performed a few times each day will help to relieve strain and strengthened the muscles of the foot to rid it of the plantar fasciitis. But be sure to discuss any treatment with a doctor first, to decide the best ones for any individual case, and how many repetitions should be used to begin, to ensure that there is no additional strain. This will ensure the problem will be solved, and perhaps help to keep it from recurring in the future.