Plantar fasciitis treatment with massage, stretches, & exercises is great for pain relief. Plantar fasciitis is when tissue on the bottom of our feet get irritated and inflamed. This can be very painful, and sometimes people have a difficult time walking with it. See Doctor Jo’s blog post about this at:
For plantar fasciitis, often people will have the worst pain in the morning when they first walk. The pain can be in the bottom of the foot, the arch of the foot, and/or the heel. These stretches and exercises should help relieve the pain.
There are several stretches in this video to help relieve the pain. First you are going to stretch your calf muscle, or gastrocnemius muscle. You can prop up your foot with something or hang it over the edge of something so you heel will move freely. Keep your leg straight, and take the belt or leash and place it on the ball of your foot. Relax your leg and then pull your foot towards you. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, 3 times.
Now, you want to massage the tissue, or fascia on the bottom of your foot. Start with pushing right down the center of the foot from the heel to the toes. You can use lotion or oil to help reduce the friction. Then use circular and spreading or fanning motions, and apply more pressure where you feel knots. You might feel scar tissue/adhesions through out the bottom of the foot, and these are the areas you want to focus on.
These next stretches you can do sitting. The best time is right before you get out of bed because many people have the most pain when they first put weight on their feet in the morning. You can use a massage ball, noodle or foam roll, and place it under your foot. Roll lightly at first, and then apply more pressure if it is not too painful.
You can also take a water bottle and freeze it. This will give you an ice massage while you are stretching the fascia when rolling it under your foot. You can place it in a cooler by your bed so you don’t have to get up if you don’t have anyone to get it for you. Or you can train your dog to get it for you 🙂
While you are sitting, you can strengthen the muscles underneath to help move out the irritation and strengthen the area. Take a resistive band, and start off with a light resistance. Place it under your toes, and try to keep your foot down. Lift your toes, and pull them back down. If the band is too much, you can do the movement without the band. Start off with ten reps, and work your way up from there.
Another great way to stretch the fascia is to get on all fours or quadruped. Fan your toes out where they are flat on the floor. You should feel the stretch, but if you want more of a stretch, lean back and sit on your heels. Try to hold this for 30 seconds, and do it three times.
Then you can do standing stretch on a step or curb. Place the ball of your foot on the edge of the step and relax your heel downwards. This will stretch your fascia and your calf. Hold for 30 seconds and do it 3 times.
The last stretch can be done against a wall or something solid. Prop your foot up with your heel down on the floor. The higher you can put your toes, the more of a stretch you will get. Lean forward against the wall, and try to keep your leg straight. Hold for 30 seconds and do it 3 times.
The last set of exercises will be heel raises and balance exercises. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, come up on your toes as high as you can. Try not to lean forward, but bring your body straight up and slowly come back down. Push off as much as you can so your heel leaves the ground. Start off with ten and work your way up to 20-25.
Finally, you will work on balance. Try to balance on one foot. Try to look at something straight in front of you, and try not to look down at your feet. Start off with 10-15 seconds, and do it three times on each leg. If you need to hold onto something to start off with, make sure it’s something sturdy.
Plantar Fasciitis Stretches & Exercises: