A common cause of foot pain is plantar fasciitis, a condition that is caused by inflammation of the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting your toes to your heel. It can often feel like heel pain and can be caused by, but not limited to, improper footwear, repetitive movements, obesity, and the arch of the foot lacking strength and stability. Sometimes the symptoms appear as calf tightness, pain in the bottom of the foot, intense pain when you first stand in the morning or after a workout. Stretching and exercises can help to alleviate the pain and calm the symptoms. These stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon and help to improve stability of the ankle while strengthening the calves.
Plantar Fascia Stretch – 2x 30 secs each side
- Use a step and put the ball of your foot onto the edge of the step, keeping your heel on the ground.
- Slowly shift your weight forward over the step to stretch through your calf, ankle, and plantar fascia.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs.
Toe Stretch – 2x 30 secs each side
- Step the ball of your foot and toes onto the middle of your step.
- Lift the heel up high to stretch through the toes and plantar fascia.
- To increase the stretch, slowly shift your weight forward.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then switch feet.
Calf Raises – 2x 10 each side
- Stand on a step with both feet. Hold onto a wall or handrail for stability.
- Lower one heel down towards the ground to stretch through your calf and foot.
- Press up through the ball of your foot and bring the heel back up, contracting the calf at the top.
Plie Calf Raises | 2x 10 each side
- Stand on a step with both feet, heels together and toes pointing out. Hold onto a wall or handrail for stability.
- Lower both heels down towards the ground to stretch through your feet and calves.
- Press up through the balls of your feet and bring the heels back up, to contract the calves at the top.
Tennis Ball Rollout | 2x 60 secs each side
- Self-myofascial release is a great way to massage out knots and tension in the bottom of the feet.
- Sit on a chair, placing a tennis ball on the floor in front of you.
- Place the arch of your foot on the ball.
- Apply pressure through the ball to release tightness.
- Slowly roll your foot over the ball and roll up towards your toes slowly.
- Pause where you find any tight spots and hold for 30 seconds.
- Slowly roll back down towards your heel, again pausing whenever you find a tight spot.
If you think you could be suffering from Plantar Fasciitis then speak to one of the team for help with any of these exercises or to book in for an assessment.