Plantar fasciitis causes heel pain and is common in people who run. These exercises can help stretch out the tissues in the soles of your foot and calf muscle as well as strethen the muscles to alleviate heel pain.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common forms of heel pain, particularly in runners. It occurs when your plantar fascia, becomes irritated and inflamed from overuse. Plantar fasciitis can resolve by itself over a period of time, however with treatment, rest and management the recovery time can be a lot quicker. Here, we discuss what plantar fasciitis is and explore exercises that can help with reducing the discomfort.
What is Plantar fasciitis?
Your plantar fascia is a thick connective tissue that runs from your heel to your toes. When this tissue becomes inflamed it can cause heel pain, known as Plantar fasciitis. The discomfort is often felt first thing in the morning and subsidies through the day.
Plantar fasciitis is commonly seen in runners, people who have increased physical activity or are on their feet for long hours of the day. Plantar fasciitis can resolve by itself in 6 to 18 months. This is a long time to be dealing with pain and can be incredibly frustrating if you live an active lifestyle. In our experience though, through treatment, rest and management most cases resolve in 3 months.
How can osteopathy help with plantar fasciitis pain?
As osteopaths, we look at your foot and ankle mechanics while considering the whole body. This is because decreased movement in your ankle can lead to dysfunction in your hips and lower back. Some muscles attach to your heel that can pull on your plantar fasciitis aggravating it more. We use a range of different approaches including stretching, massage, movement and balancing. This means we can help resolve your pain without it affecting your work commitments.
What can I do to help reduce plantar fasciitis pain?
There are several things you can do at home and outside the treatment room to help reduce your heel pain.
- Wear supportive shoes when running, walking or standing for prolonged periods so the arches of your foot are well supported
- Use a cork massage ball under the arch of your foot to reduce muscle tension and pulling on your heel
- Do plantar fasciitis specific exercises
Exercises for plantar fasciitis
The exercises shown here can help stretch out your tissues in the soles of your foot and calf muscle. They can also strengthen the muscles around the foot and calf to help alleviate the heel pain. If the pain persists, it’s recommended you book an appointment with our osteopath Marissa. Marissa can assess exactly what’s going on, offer hands-on treatment to relieve the pain and advise exercises or lifestyle modifications that can help to get you moving freely again.
1. Calf raises
2. Cork ball
3. Calf stretch
4. Towel pick up
Need help implementing these plantar fasciitis exercises? Book an appointment today with Marissa at our Geelong or Ocean Grove clinic.