Lifestyle plays an important part in improving overall health and wellbeing
Revolutionary Self Help Exercise for Plantar Fasciitis
When you are experiencing a pain on the underside of your foot, about 4 cm forward from you heel and you are struggling to take your first steps in the morning because that’s when the pain is at its worst, or feeling a pain after long periods of rest where no weight is placed on your foot, you might be suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is an extremely common condition, with one in 10 people suffering from it. It can be very debilitating and unfortunately, can take up to 18 months to disappear. Actually, in 40% of all the cases, patients continue to have symptoms even after 2 years! You have an increased risk of developing plantar fasciitis if you are between 40 and 60 years old, female, enjoy activities like long-distance running or ballet, have dropped or high foot arches and/or are overweight. Fascia tissue is like a ligament and heals quite slowly. This can be very frustrating, especially if you are a runner and have to take months off training!
But, there might be light at the end of the tunnel after all! A recent study shows that if one adds “high-load training” to the treatment of plantar fasciitis, a significant improvement can be felt after 3 months, which is a lot quicker than 2 years!
The high load training consists of one-sided heel raises with a towel inserted under the toes, preferably on a stairway or similar location (see picture). The towel has to be rolled up and be placed under the toes. The idea is that the toes are maximally stretched when one is standing on his toes. Every heel raise has to take three seconds to go up, three seconds to come down with a 2 second pause at the top. The exercise has to be performed every second day for 3 months.
Here are some top tips for the correct management of plantar fasciitis:
· Have your feet scanned to identify a dropped or high foot arch (can be performed in our clinic)
· Do not walk bare feet
· Stretch the calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus)
· Before getting up in the morning, write some letters with your foot in the air
· Pull the great toe towards you for as long as you can during the day
· Perform high-load training