Dr Dan Brennan verified that a tight ligament in the foot can lead to “small tears”, hence the pain, usually felt around the heel or the arch of the foot. You can, however, take steps to reduce your suffering. He confirmed that stretches and exercises can strengthen this area of the foot. “By loosening the plantar fascia ligament, you can help prevent further stress and inflammation that causes foot pain,” the doctor substantiated.
Considered one of the “best stretches” for plantar fasciitis, you need to:
- Stand facing the wall
- Place your hands on the wall
- Stretch your affected back leg
- Lean towards the wall
- Hold for 30 seconds
- Relax, and repeat six times daily.
You should be able to feel a stretch in the calf muscle of your back leg.
During this stretch, it is important both feet are planted onto the ground, facing the wall. The unaffected leg should also be bent at the knee.
Tennis ball roll
Using any small ball, akin to the size of a tennis ball, sit in a chair and place the ball under the affected foot.
Then roll the ball back and forth under the arch of the foot; this is to stretch out the plantar fascia ligament.
Continue rolling for up to five minutes each time, performing the stretch twice daily.
These exercises should help to provide pain relief for plantar fasciitis.
To help with pain and inflammation, icing the affected foot after stretching is recommended.
People who have particularly painful feet might benefit from taking painkillers 30 minutes before the stretching begins.
What causes plantar fasciitis
The NHS explained: “Plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the part of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).”
You are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis if you:
- Recently started exercising on hard surfaces
- Exercise with a tight calf or heel
- Overstretch the sole of your foot during exercise
- Recently started doing a lot more walking, running or standing up
- Wear shoes with poor cushioning or support
- Are very overweight.
What shoes are you wearing?
Helpful measures would include staying away from wearing high heels, flip-flips, or backless slippers.
For any wide, low-heeled shoes you do have, make sure they have a soft sole.
Soft insoles and heel pads can be placed into shoes that you already own.
As for exercise, if jogging is leading to painful plantar fasciitis, swimming could be a better alternative.
Swimming does not put any pressure on the feet, so it can be a more enjoyable way to keep fit.