Plantar fasciitis, pronounced "plantar fash-eee-eye-tiss", is a condition where the heels are painful and swollen. When the tough, long fibrous plantar fascia ligament, which is located at the bottom of the foot, ruptures in the tissue, it results in inflammation and pain. The heel bone, also known as the calcaneous, is attached to the fascia where this pain usually occurs. The swelling runs from the bottom of the foot where the heel starts till the ball of the foot (arch of your foot). A common foot problem, each year there are more than 2.5 million plantar fasciitis cases that get reported. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, there may be difficulty in normal, day to day activities like walking, jogging, and running. There are particular stretching exercises for plantar fasciitis which help strengthen, heel the pain, and avoid further injuries to the ligament. Read more on plantar fasciitis treatment.
Reasons of Plantar Fasciitis
* Increase in physical or athletic activities.
* Flat or high arch of your feet, rigidness in feet.
* Running, walking, standing, or jumping on tough or uneven surfaces.
* Uncomfortable shoes that don't support the feet properly.
* Excess weight gain in short span (pregnancy or overweight).
* Normal aging process.
Now that you have understood the specific reasons on what causes plantar fasciitis, we can get into the discussion as to how plantar fasciitis stretching exercises can work. Whenever you start to feel a bit of tightness, pain, or swelling in your heel, do not overlook the symptoms. Perhaps your work requires you to stand and/or walk for longer durations, which can cause the tension in your heel. The sharp, piercing pain that is caused should be taken care of immediately. Following are some heel stretching exercises for plantar fasciitis. Read more on heel pain.
Stretching for Plantar Fasciitis
Exercises for plantar fasciitis aid in relaxing and flexing the muscles in your feet and ankles. To lessen the symptoms, comply with the stretching exercises for plantar fasciitis religiously.
Exercise 1: Often recommended by doctors, a towel stretch is the most effect exercise to relieve the pain. Take a towel, twist it, and keep the middle section under the ball of your foot. Hold both ends of the towel in each hands and slowly pull the ends in your direction. Keep your knees straight as you pull the ends of the towel. Hold this position for almost 15 seconds and release. Follow the exercise at least 2-4 times on each foot. Read more on stretching exercises and techniques.
Exercise 2: Once you reach home from work, school, or gym, take a tennis ball to perform the stretching exercises for plantar fasciitis. Sit on a chair and roll the ball over the arch of your foot (or feet). You can perform the exercise while you're away from home as well. Follow the routine at least 2-3 times a day while sitting in your chair. As you get comfortable with the exercise, try doing it standing up. Read more on plantar fasciitis stretches.
Exercise 3: The next exercise will stretch the calf muscles while strengthening the lower leg and Achilles tendon (calcaneal tendon). Stand in front of a wall and place both your hands on it at shoulder level. Take your right foot back and place it exactly behind the left foot. Keep your foot flat on the ground, touching it from the toe to heel. Now bend down from the knee till you can feel the stretch in the lower leg. Hold this position for almost 30 seconds and release. Follow the exercise at least 4 times on each foot.