Monday, July 21, 2014

Nobody Likes Plantar Fasciitis!

So I have not had Plantar Fasciitis yet, and I feel very fortunate.  I have had friends who have had to take a significant amount of time away from running and some who have had to wear special boots as part of their recovery plan.  From what I have been told it is extremely painful.  I was asked by a friend to do a blog post on Plantar Fasciitis, so here you go. 

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick tissue (fascia) that runs along the bottom of the foot.  People who are prone to this injury include runners who have chronically tight hamstrings, back, calves, and Achilles tendons.  Runners who do not use the proper type of arch support are also prone to getting Plantar Fasciitis.  The pain is typically a persistent pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel or foot.  It can be either a sharp pain or dull discomfort.

What are some treatments that you can do at home?

The best option is to stop or reduce running until the pain subsides.  In addition to this reduction there are five exercises that you can do to speed up your recovery. 

1) Stretch the fascia muscle.  Prop your toes up against a wall, keeping your arch and heal flat on the ground so the toes stretch.  Hold for 10 seconds at a time, repeating 10 sets, three times a day.

2) Roll a frozen water bottle under the arch. After you have stretched your fascia muscle, roll out the arch for 10 minutes.  

3) Freeze a golf ball and massage the fascia.  Roll the frozen golf ball under the foot.  Start at the front of your foot, near your toes, and work your way back toward your heal.  Put a decent amount of pressure on each spot for 15 seconds (front, middle, and back of the foot). Then roll back and forth over the entire foot.

4) Use the foam roller to work the rest of your legs.  It might surprise you, but having a tight back, shoulder, calf, or hamstring can cause Plantar Fasciitis.  Roll out your legs, hips, and back to loosen up the muscles. It is amazing how much of our bodies are interconnected.
5) Get an insole that will put pressure on the fascia muscle.  It doesn’t matter if you under or over pronate, an insole will help.  The idea is to keep the fascia muscle from flexing.  It needs to be supported while you are strengthening the muscle.  

Please comment and add any exercises that have worked to alleviate your 
Plantar Fasciitis.


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