Plantar fasciitis also known as Heel pain, a condition affecting many people.
Often an overuse injury from repetitive strain causing microtears to the plantar fascia. There many risk factors including but not limited too:
- Loss of ankle dorsiflexion ( foot pointing towards you)
- Excessive pronation
- Weight bearing / Impact activities, ie, long periods of standing, running, walking etc.
- Improper shoe fit
- High BMI >KG/M2
- Diabetes mellitus
- Leg length discrep
- Tightness/weakness of soleus, gastrocnemius, achilles tendon and intrinsic muscles of the foot.
Common symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis include the following:
- Pain on heel during first step in the morning or after long periods of rest
- Tenderness on base of heel
- Reduced dorsiflexion and tight achilles tendon
- Limp or preference to toe walking, to offload base of heel
- Worse barefoot on hard surfaces and climbing stairs
- Many patient may have suddenly increased their activity level prior to an onset of symptoms
Now we know how it presents, here are my 5 top exercises for Plantar Fasciitis
- Toe curls with towel: Place a small towel on the floor and sit on a chair so your feet are over the towel. Then using the affected foot, scrunch your toes into the towel. Pulling it towards you. Relax your toes and let go of the towel. Repeat this 10x twice a day
- Calf stretch: Stand facing the wall, placing your hands on the wall. Both feet planted on the ground. The unaffected leg is bent at the knee and in front, the affected leg, behind, kept straight. Lean towards the wall, till you feel a stretch in the calf.
- Rolling stretch: Sit tall on a chair, place a ball under your foot, roll back and forward for 2 minutes
- Plantar fascia massage: Sit or stand, with affected foot resting on a small frozen water bottle ( this reduces inflammation). Gently roll the water bottle forwards and backwards slowly under your foot, 10times, 2 set.
- Arch lifts: Start – sitting on a chair, foot flat on the ground, then flex your foot muscles producing an arch, whilst keeping your heel and ball of the foot in contact with the ground. Hold for 3-5 seconds, repeat 10 times 2 sets.
For more information about Plantar fasciitis
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