If you’ve ever had plantar fasciitis pain you know why you would want to try and avoid it. If you’ve never experienced it, there's a chance you could so make sure and follow these steps either way to try to avoid the pain all together.
Firstly, let’s break it down: Where is the plantar fascia and what does it do?
The plantar fascia runs the length of the bottom of your foot, spanning the area from the base of the toes to the front of your heel. The two ends of the fascia/ligament attach at the base of the toes and at the front of the heel bone by means of fascia, a strong fibrous membrane. The plantar fascia keeps the arch of the foot from flattening completely when the foot bears weight, thus providing cushioning and shock absorption when you're walking, running or standing. This structure also allows you to point your toes.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is most commonly caused by repetitive strain injury to the ligament of the sole of the foot. Such strain injury can be from excessive running, walking and poor foot gear. Plantar fasciitis can also be caused by certain diseases, including reactive arthritis.
Sounds like fun right? Okay, we know.. It’s not fun at all. So, here comes the good stuff:
How to prevent plantar fasciitis:
1. Calf Raises: Calf raises strengthen the tendons in your heels and calf muscles, which support your arches.
- Lift as high as you can onto your toes and lower your heels down as much as your ankle flexibility allows.
- Push evenly through the entire width of your foot. Don't push off from your big toe or the outside edge of your feet.
2. Step Stretches: This exercise improves flexibility in your achilles tendon and calf
-Stand on the floor in front of a small step or thick book.
-Lift the toes up to be on the step, keeping the heel on the floor and the knee straight.
-Shift your bodyweight forwards until a stretch can be felt in the calf muscles
3. Towel Curls: Towel curls work the toe- flexor muscles that run along your arch. This increases overall foot strength.
To-Do: Lay a small cloth towel on the floor and using your toes grasp the towel, hold and then release.
4. Wear Proper Cushioning Insoles: Wearing a great insole in your shoe will help you to stay comfortable all day and also to help prevent the awful pain that comes along with plantar fasciitis. Here’s a pretty great list of some truly helpful insoles.
So, have you tried any of these preventative tips before? Have they helped you?