Plantar fasciitis affects more than a million people a year globally and two-thirds of them seek medical advice(1). The term plantar fasciitis is derived from a thick band of tissue at the bottom of your foot that connects your heel to the toes. This band of tissue or ligament that supports the arch of your foot is called plantar fasciitis.
The easiest way to identify if you are suffering from plantar fasciitis is when you suffer from heel pain or inflammation around the heel area. The pain of plantar fasciitis may be more during the morning when you get up from sleep. However, the pain may reduce with constant and low resistance exercises for plantar fasciitis.
At-Home Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis treatment exercise is a combination of stretching and foot exercises. Tight muscles around the region of your foot will increase the heel pain. Start your daily exercise regime with low-resistance stretching exercises for plantar fasciitis(2). You can combine the below exercise or do these exercises in intervals depending on the severity of your condition.
1. Calf Stretching
To perform this exercise, you would need to:
- Stand in front of a wall with your palms on the wall.
- Keep one leg straight with the heel firmly on the ground.
- Place the other leg with the knee slightly bent.
- Push your body with your hips towards the wall.
- Hold this position for 5-10 seconds without straining yourself.
- Repeat this in sets of five.
[ Read: Yoga for Plantar Fasciitis ]
2. Foot Ligament Stretch
Foot exercises for plantar fasciitis provide relief by slightly stretching your muscles and ligaments. You must ensure that you are seated for the below-mentioned exercises:-
Roll and fold
- Sit on a chair and keep your back straight.
- Firmly place your foot over a roll made of foam. You can also use an ice pack for the same.
- Maintain a rolling motion with your foot using soft gentle strokes.
- Do this for 30 seconds in sets of 5 twice a day.
Stretch the big toe
- Sit cross-legged on a chair and keep your back as straight as possible.
- Place the calf of one leg over your thigh or knee of the other leg depending on your comfort.
- Now pull the big toe of the foot placed on the knee/thigh gently. This will help slightly stretch the muscles and provide instant relief.
- Repeat the above steps 8-10 times twice a day.
Towel stretch the foot
- Fold a towel lengthwise and make an exercise band of it. You may also use exercise bands available in departmental stores or sports shops for the same purpose.
- Sit on a chair slightly bending your back towards the foot.
- Bend the knee towards your chest.
- Place the towel under your foot and stretch.
- Repeat in sets of 5 twice a day or as comfortable.
Inward Foot Stretch
- Lie down on your back on a yoga mat.
- Stretch your legs outward.
- Now keeping your calf firmly on the yoga mat, pull your feet inward.
- The pressure should be as if pressure is being applied from the sole of your foot, pushing your toes inward.
- Hold this inward stretched position for 10 seconds.
- Repeat in sets of 5 or more.
[ Read: Home Remedies for Plantar Fasciitis ]
3. Archilles Step
To perform this exercise, you would need to:
- Place the ball on a step/stair and put your foot on it.
- Now, slowly try and reach the below step/stair with your heel until you feel the stretch and pressure on your arch of the foot.
- Maintain this position for 20 to 30 seconds and then relax.
- You can repeat this exercise 3 to 5 times every day.
Some quick tips to prevent plantar fasciitis are:
- Stretch before exercising
- Do not lead a very sedentary lifestyle
- If leading a very active lifestyle choose proper equipment and gear to support your body
- Maintain a healthy body weight by choosing a low-fat diet and getting adequate exercise
Plantar Fasciitis can be self-healed by following a strict diet and following a low-resistance exercise regime. Patients usually get relief within 8-10 months of rest and mild stretching exercises.
[ Read: Massage for Plantar Fasciitis ]
Diet Recommended for Plantar Fasciitis
Low fat and low carbohydrate diet are recommended to manage weight, especially when suffering from plantar fasciitis. Opt for protein-rich vegetable broths or chicken broth to add protein to your diet. Protein helps build muscle and will quicken the healing processes of the inflamed plantar fasciitis tissue.
1. Can plantar fasciitis resolve without any treatment?
Yes, plantar fasciitis can be cured without any treatment at all. However, the pain is discomforting and stretching can help quicken the healing process.
2. Can doing exercises daily cure plantar fasciitis?
Doing exercises can keep your pain at bay but cannot cure plantar fasciitis entirely. Kindly talk to your doctor to know more.