3 Things You’re NOT Doing For Your Plantar Fasciitis
Foot pain is the worst. I mean, anything that prevents you from being out and about is the worst, and plantar fasciitis is totally one of those things. Waking up in the morning you might experience pain and pressure in your foot, or maybe after standing for long periods of time you notice stiffness and pain radiating through your calf and entire foot. Whatever your symptoms, know that plantar fasciitis is preventable and it is possible to avoid having to suffer through the pain.
Let’s cover some basics first. Your plantar fascia is a band of tissue that connects the front of your foot to your heel. Repeated stress, standing, or even super tight calf muscles can tear and damage the tissue. This causes soreness, tenderness, and inflammation in your foot.
After helping so many people find relief from plantar fasciitis as a Physical Therapist Assistant, I can tell you the 3 things that most people do not do to help prevent plantar fasciitis.
1. Consider Your Shoes
If you’re constantly feeling the aches and pains of plantar fasciitis, it's probably time to check your shoes! Even if you aren’t experiencing foot pain, it is something you want to avoid. Things to think about when buying better shoes are:
- Is the sole flexible, but still firm? You want support, but don’t want it to be so firm that it causes an excess of pressure on your foot.
- Is your arch being supported adequately? Everyone has a different arch, so not all shoes support every arch in the best way. If your shoes aren’t doing the trick, look for ones with better arch support or try an insole that will better support your arch.
- Is there enough cushioning in your forefoot? If your soles are too hard, the stress that the shoe experts are on your foot is going to cause increased tension for your plantar fascia. This is why having enough cushion throughout the sole of your shoe, especially in your forefoot, is essential. It helps absorb shock from the everyday walking, running, and standing that you’re doing.
2. Your Calves Are Too Tight
Oftentimes when the calf muscle is too tight, it pulls on the plantar fascia, causing heel pain and inflammation. If this is true for you, you need to release the tension in your calves! Try this (but do not proceed if you experience any painful sensations):
- Stand near a wall with one foot in front of the other, front knee slightly bent.
Keep your back knee straight, your heel on the ground, and lean toward the wall.
- Feel the stretch all along the calf of your back leg.
- Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds.
3. You’re Not Mobilizing Your Toes Enough (Or At All)!
If your toes don’t get much of a workout, they could contribute to foot pain and additional strain on your plantar fascia. Here is a quick and easy toe engaging exercise for you: grab a sock and wrap it between your toes, weaving in and out or over and under, until there is a bit of sock firmly in between each toe. Then, scrunch your toes up and release slowly (if you experience unusual pain, back off, or discontinue). This toe separator exercise helps you engage your toe muscles and releases tension in other parts of the foot.
Looking for more guidance to help overcome foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis? I’ve created a course - PLANTAR FASCIITIS FIX - designed specifically as a one-stop solution to regain your mobility and ease foot pain, all from the comfort of your own home!
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