Along the way, my Plantar Fasciitis seems to have flared up again. Plantar fasciitis is caused because the tough, fibrous band of tissue (fascia) connecting the heel bone to the base of the toes has become inflamed. Overweight women, like myself, are more likely to develop the condition. Walking a lot on hard surfaces makes it worse, so our long walks into town were making it worse. The pain classically occurs right after getting up in the morning and after a period of sitting. The excruciating pain in my heel bone was often felt worse after (not during) exercise.
According to my research, stretching is the best treatment for plantar fasciitis. I found this exercise to be the most helpful:
- Plantar fascia stretch: Stand with the ball of your injured foot on a stair. Reach for the bottom step with your heel >until you feel a stretch in the arch of your foot. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds and then relax. Repeat 3 times. After you have stretched the bottom muscles of your foot, you can begin strengthening the top muscles of your foot.
FootCareMD suggests the following
- Lean forward against a wall with one knee straight and heel on the ground. Your other knee is bent. Your heel cord and foot arch stretch as you lean. Hold for 10 seconds, relax and straighten up. Repeat 20 times for each sore heel. It is important to keep the knee fully extended on the side being stretched.
- Lean forward onto a countertop, spreading your feet apart with one foot in front of the other. Flex your knees and squat down, keeping your heels on the ground as long as possible. Your heel cords and foot arches will stretch as the heels come up in the stretch. Hold for 10 seconds, relax and straighten up. Repeat 20 times.
Plantar Fascia-Specific Stretching Program
- Cross your affected leg over your other leg.
- Using the hand on your affected side, take hold of your affected foot and pull your toes back towards shin. This creates tension/stretch in the arch of the foot/plantar fascia.
- Check for the appropriate stretch position by gently rubbing the thumb of your unaffected side left to right over the arch of the affected foot. The plantar fascia should feel firm, like a guitar string.
- Hold the stretch for a count of 10. A set is 10 repetitions.
The good news is that my foot feels so much better! We have even begun playing tennis in the mornings.
Here is a great list of exercises that you can follow. Plantar Fascitis Exercises-1. Stick to it if you have problems with foot pain, plantar fasciitis, and or heel pain.