• Henry Fensome

A right pain in the flip flop!!... Plantar Fasciitis: The 10 Best Exercises for Relief.

It's that time of year where (if we are lucky enough) we spend most of our time in flip flops or enjoy walking on the beach. But unfortunately, it is also the time of year where some of us will experience pain in in the base of our foot. The most common cause of this pain is PLANTAR FASCIITIS! So what is it? What Causes it? How Do I Treat it? and Can I stop it from coming back? All of these questions will be answered in the blog as we will give you the background and give you the best 10 exercises to help treat, rehabilitate and prevent it reoccurring.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is an overuse condition affecting the plantar fascia (tensile tissue under your foot) at the point where it attaches to your heel. Most people describe it as a sharp stabbing pain in the base of the foot. The area of pain is usually down the build up of inflammation at its attachment point. Plantar faciitis is responsible for around 80% of heel pain complaints in the UK.

So, What Causes it?

There are a few possible causes for Plantar Fasciitis, with the possibility of one or a few of the causes actually causing the problem. These possible causes are;

  • Lack of Support from shoe (Most common cause, usually flip flops or sliders in the summer)

  • Running on Hard Surfaces

  • Arch problems (high arches or flat feet)

  • Training Errors (Incorrect technique when training legs)

  • Overuse (Are you walking/running excessive mile, especially in the heat)

  • Over Pronation (Does your foot roll in?)

  • Poor flexibility in your calves

  • Tight Achilles tendon

What Can I Do if I have it?

Immediate treatment - Rest and Ice are your best friend, as this will allow the inflammation to reduce. Anti-inflammatories are also key in this phase.

What Next?

After the immediate treatment - Rehabilitation and Prevention

  • Massage Therapy - this allows the plantar fascia to relax and also loosens the calf muscles and Achilles tendon.

  • Stretches/Exercises - these help to relieve pressure on the plantar fascia and to strengthen the surrounding structures to help prevent it from coming back.

  • Manipulation - Manipulations can help with any bio-mechanical dysfunctions and joint malpositions in the foot, knee, pelvis and low back.

  • Taping - this can be used to support the foot and decrease the pressure on the plantar fascia.

  • Heel Pads or Orthotics - These help to support the foot (Consult a Health Care Practitioner before buying).

  • Acupuncture - This has been proven to release the tension in the plantar fascia.

The 10 Best Exercises and Stretches fot Plantar Fasciitis:

*If you experience any severe pain during these exercise stop immediately and seek advice from either us or your local healthcare provider*

1. Ice Bottle or Ball Release.

This can be performed using a bottle or frozen water (better in intial stages) or using a hard ball (tennis, hockey, cricket even a golf ball). Ideally barefoot, roll the bottle or ball on the soft arch part of the foot. DO NOT push onto the heel bone (Sore bit). Start lightly and increase the pressure gradually. You should feel less soreness and/or tightness when getting up to walk.

2. Marble Pick-Ups

This is another enjoyable exercise where you can stand or remain seated. You should aim to spend 5 minutes a day doing this exercise with each foot.Place a bowl on the floor and some marbles or similar sized small balls or objects (such as stones) in front of you.Pick up each marble using just your toes and transfer them to the bowl.

3.Towel Scrunch

This exercise is one of the easiest to do as you remain seated for the whole duration of