Plantar Fasciitis flare ups can last a really long time, and even when you try to take it easy at first, there’s only so much resting and icing a person can take! If you are a chronic sufferer of Plantar Fasciitis, chances are you will need to start doing a little foot rehab on your own time to keep the pain at bay between physio appointments.
Most foot pain sufferers experience the most acute pain when they first get up and out of bed in the morning. The pressure of your body weight causes the plantar fascia to stretch to its full extent much too suddenly, and that can result in a fresh flare-up every morning. A quick fascia warm-up exercise routine before you rise can help get your feet off to the best possible start.
The Soothing Hundred: 100 Plantar Fasciitis Stretches To Do At Home Before You Rise
One hundred may sound like a lot, but the whole routine only takes a couple of minutes and the resulting looseness in your plantar fascia is well worth the investment. These exercises are meant to help you improve your pain, however (and especially if your pain doesn’t subside when you do them), it’s always important to talk to your physiotherapist about starting any new routine.
Toe Scrunch and Splay (25)
Before you get up, before you put any weight on your feet at all, first sit on the edge of your bed with your feet lifted off the floor. Scrunch your toes tight as if you’re making fists with your toes, then splay them upwards in the opposite motion. Do 25 scrunches and 25 splays with both feet.
Self-mobilizing foot flexes (25)
Rest one ankle on the opposite knee and weave the fingers of the opposite hand between your toes while you support the heel with the same-side hand. Use your opposite hand to flex the toes, adding a little extra pressure to stretch out that fascia. Then pull the toes downwards into an assisted scrunch. Do this whole movement 25 times.
Ball Rolls (25)
Using a small, hard ball such as a baseball or street hockey ball, place both feet on the ground while still sitting. Put the ball under one foot, and exert a medium amount of pressure as you roll your foot straight backwards and forwards over the ball, all the way from your toes to your heel and back, 25 times on each foot. The pressure should be firm but not painful.
Heel And Toe Raises (25)
Still sitting with both feet flat on the floor, start to shift your weight onto them bit by bit as you raise your toes with feet flat, then press your toes into the ground as you raise your heels high. Increase the pressure slowly, until you end up standing up next to your bed by the time you reach 25.
Once you’re up, you should feel that the pain you used to experience has diminished a lot. That is because the plantar fascia is warmed up and more flexible, so it can accomodate the added stretch caused by your standing weight.
Take your time so you don’t over-stretch, but you should find that you’re able to move better through the day after warming up your feet in this way.
Dealing With The Underlying Causes Of Your Foot Pain
Of course this is only a temporary solution to the symptom. Chronic foot pain needs to be investigated by a professional, as the underlying reason should be addressed. The underlying cause of your plantar fasciitis can be related to your foot biomechanics but could also be related to your low back.
Dealing with the pain is critical to day-to-day living but dealing with the cause of the problem is critical to a finding a long-term solution that allows you to do what you love to do.
Gym Exercises To Ease Plantar Fasciitis
At the gym, don’t go straight to the treadmill during a flareup! However it is important to stay active as overall fitness is key to preventing further injury. This is a good time to focus on using weight machines and strengthening the rest of your body, as you’ll often be seated or supported while you isolate muscle groups. Anything that keeps the weight off your feet is acceptable, just make sure that you’re not creating an imbalance by focussing on just one body area.
Practicing this additional foot care during a flare-up will reduce the pain you are feeling. Call to have a comprehensive biomechanics assessment so that we can deal with the cause of the problem.
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (csp.org.uk)
* Please be aware that information on this web site is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding an injury or medical condition.