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Plantar Fasciitis: Exercises to Relieve Pain

Posted by Eva Nemcik on

When stress is placed upon the plantar fascia ligament, heel pain can occur due to an irregular stretching motion. This causes inflammation and small tears to form. By performing strengthening and stretching exercises, you can help this ligament achieve flexibility and strengthen the muscles that provide arch support which will in turn reduce the stress placed upon it. Exercises for plantar fasciitis when combined with other steps such as resting, icing, using shoe inserts, wearing toe alignment socks, avoiding vigorous exercise that worsens the pain and taking pain relievers can successfully relieve heel pain. Exercises for plantar fasciitis may be helpful for reducing heel pain when you practice them upon first waking up.

Tips for Exercising to Reduce Foot Pain Caused by Plantar Fasciitis :

  • Stretching and warming up before exercise or sports can help make this ligament more flexible and reduce the chance of inflammation and injury
  • Take a pain reliever such as a NSAID, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, like naproxen or ibuprofen to gain relief from sore feet caused by inflammation and injury. Read the instructions on the label and be sure to take them safely and at the instruction of your doctor.
  • Ice your heel after exercise to further your relief from inflammation and achy feet.

Many of those who suffer from plantar fasciitis have distracting heel pain in the morning when they get out of bed and take their first steps. This cause of foot pain is due to the tightening of the ligament during sleep. By massaging or stretching the plantar fascia before rising, you can help reduce this heel pain.

Tips for Reducing Heel Pain Before, During and After Sleep:

  • Stretch your foot out by flexing it upward and downward 10 times before taking any steps.
  • Engage in toe stretches that pull at the plantar fascia.
  • Use a towel to stretch your feet.
  • Wear foot alignment socks to help with proper toe alignment while you sleep.
  • Massage across the width of the plantar fascia before getting up from bed.
  • Always put on shoes when you get up, even if you are just visiting the restroom. Shoes like athletic shoes, high quality sandals or any comfortable shoes with great arch support work fine.

When you stretch, you should feel a pulling feeling, but it should not cause pain. Speak with your doctor to determine which exercise for pain in feet works best for you. Then, perform these exercises two or three times a day.

A few daily exercises include:

  • Using a rolling pin or tennis ball, sit down and roll the ball or pin using your foot's arch. If mobility permits, move on to eventually doing this while standing
  • Toe stretching
  • Towel curls
  • Towel stretches
  • Calf stretches
  • Calf and plantar fascia stretch
  • Pick up marbles with the toes for strengthening

By performing these exercises safely each day along with wearing foot alignment socks, you can begin to see relief from chronic foot pain of the plantar fascia ligament today!


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