The plantar fascia is a band of connecting fiber that originates at the heel and goes to the bottom of the toes. It facilitates warm-ups of balance, stability, running, walking, and cardiovascular warm-ups. Plantar fasciitis is a condition where the plantar is overstretched; it results in pain that comes from micro-tears and inflammation to the fascia. Some of the causes of plantar fasciitis include improper shoes, wear or tight ankles or calves, increasing vigorous activity more than 10% in a week, and vigorous activity such as running, jumping, or pounding on the bottom of the foot. Tight hamstrings, calves, and shins and stress placed on the plantar fasciitis cause plantar fasciitis. Some great exercises to prevent or rehabilitate the plantar fasciitis include:
Curl the toes and imagine you are grabbing something with the toes of each foot.
Grab a towel by curling the toes under. Make sure your heel stays on the floor.
Have marbles in a cup and try to pick them up with your toes. For a variation, try different sizes of coins.
Tap your toes and keep your heel on the floor.
Use a rolling pin, pedicure roller, or tennis ball, and while seated, roll it with the arch of your foot.
To stretch the Achilles’ tendon, lean forward against a wall, keep the knee of one leg straight and keep our heel on the ground while bending the knee on the other leg. Then, switch legs. When you rotate your ankle clock- and counter-clockwise, you are also recruiting the hamstring and quadriceps and using the whole leg. For a variation, try stretching your calves and legs in a side-to-side position. To get both the shin and calf to stretch, place them on the edge of a stair or a slant board.
With care, many plantar suffers can return to pain-free activity with proper rehabilitation. Most suffers can return to modified activity with rest, rehabilitation, and time. Proper footwear and a stretching and strengthening program can help prevent reoccurrence of this condition.
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