Recently, we told you about our selection of stylish footwear that can help alleviate the pain of plantar fasciitis.
To maximize the benefit, your switch to these podiatrist-designed shoes is best accompanied by exercises that stretch the plantar fascia, a ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting the heel and toes. When this ligament becomes strained and inflamed, foot pain results. This discomfort can be especially acute first thing in the morning or after sitting for extended periods.
A few simple exercises can help reduce the pain of plantar fasciitis or prevent it from occurring in the first place:
- Calf stretches in bed – Before rising from bed, use a towel or belt looped around the ball of your foot with the ends held in each hand. Keeping your leg straight, flex the foot and hold for 30 seconds. Make sure you feel a gentle stretch in your lower leg. Repeat five times on each leg.
- Foot stretches – To stretch the plantar fascia itself, use your hand to pull your toes up until you feel the stretch between the ball of your foot and your heel. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat.
- Standing calf stretches – Place your hands against a wall or table, standing 2-3 feet away, with feet slightly apart. Slide one leg back and press your heel to the floor. Hold for about 30 seconds, then bend your knees slightly for a deeper stretch and hold again. Repeat 3 times on each leg.
- Massage – Put a tennis ball on the floor and roll your foot over it, pressing down firmly but gently. Doing this for a few minutes at a time a few times a day will help loosen the ligament.
- Cold massage – To reduce inflammation of the plantar fascia, freeze a full water bottle. Roll your foot over the frozen bottle for 10 minutes, combining a good massage with the inflammation-reducing power of ice.
Once you’ve maintained this routine for several days, you may be ready for The Plantar Fasciitis Relief Rocker. Used by professional athletes, this is the stretching device that relieves the pain and discomfort of plantar fasciitis and helps prevent it from reoccurring. Simply standing on the unit with one foot and rocking backward gently stretches the plantar fascia. This device can also be used to stretch Achilles tendons, ankles, calves, and hamstrings and would make a unique gift for anyone who spends a lot of time of their feet.