Stabbing heel pain when you step out of bed or stand for a long time is a sign of plantar fasciitis. This common source of foot pain develops when the thick band of tissue running along the arch of your foot, known as the plantar fascia, becomes torn, irritated, and inflamed. While this painful foot condition usually resolves within six to 18 months, even without treatment, the proper stretches and exercises can speed up your recovery and reduce your symptoms.
Stretches & Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis
Perform the following exercises two to three times a day to speed up your plantar fasciitis recovery.
- Calf stretch: Place your hands on a wall and step back with one foot. Press your heel to the floor and keep your knee straight. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Rolling stretch: Sit in a chair and place a golf ball or rolling pin under the arch of your foot. Roll the object around in small circles with your foot for two minutes.
- Toe stretch: Sit in a chair and cross one ankle over the opposite knee. Pull your toes back to stretch the arch of your foot. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Foot flexes: Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Wrap a towel or elastic band around your foot, holding the ends in both hands. Alternate between pointing and flexing your toes. Repeat 10 times.
- Towel curls: Sit in a chair and place a towel under your feet. Grasp the center of the towel with your toes to bunch up the fabric. Repeat five times.
- Marble pickup: Sit in a chair with an empty bowl and 20 marbles at your feet. Pick up one marble at a time using your toes and place them in the bowl.
Medical Interventions for Plantar Fasciitis
Stretches and exercises may not be enough to alleviate severe plantar fasciitis pain. In that case, consider pursuing these medical interventions:
- The Graston Technique® treats many types of soft tissue injuries, including plantar fasciitis. It involves gently massaging the skin with specialized stainless steel instruments to increase blood flow and break up scar tissue along the plantar fascia, reducing pain and restoring your range of motion.
- Physical therapy is especially effective for treating plantar fasciitis caused by playing sports and standing for hours every day. Your doctor or provider at Effective Integrative Healthcare can recommend exercises and stretches catered to your specific needs.
- Custom orthotics are created using a three-dimensional mold or laser scan of your feet. They are far superior to off-the-shelf shoe inserts because they are made just for you. Wear your orthotics with flat, comfortable shoes to help alleviate your foot pain.
For plantar fasciitis treatment that works, come to Effective Integrative Healthcare. Our advanced restorative therapies will help you resume a healthy, active lifestyle free from foot pain. Contact us online or call 410-729-2200 today for a free consultation at one of our Crofton, Millersville, or Lanham, MD locations.