Plantar fasciitis is a runner’s recurring nightmare. It strikes when the thick band of fibers that runs along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. It can start as a minor irritation but can advance and develop into a very stubborn and sidelining injury, especially if it’s not treated promptly or properly. While ice, rest, orthotics, and pain relievers may ease the discomfort, the injury can come back repeatedly unless you address the underlying cause—weakness, and tightness in the muscles and tendons that make up and support the foot. Stretches are critical to ease pain associated with running.
There are a few quick and easy stretches you can do at home to help prevent and treat heel pain.
Stair Case Stretch: Stand on a step with your feet together. The toes and balls of your feet should be on the step but your heels should overhang the step. Be sure you are supporting yourself with one hand on a railing or wall. Slowly lift up and down on your toes ten times. Repeat three sets of ten lifts. This exercise helps to strengthen your feet and heels, preventing and healing Plantar Fasciitis.
The Wall Stretch: Stand facing a wall with both feet together. Place your hands at shoulder height and width on the wall in front of you. Take a step forward with your right foot so that it is now only a few inches from the wall. Shift your weight onto your right leg and bend at the knee. Keeping both heels on the ground, lean your upper body slowly toward the wall until you feel a good stretch happening along with the calf muscles of your left leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Return to your original position with both feet together. Repeat the stretch, this time putting your left leg forward. Do this exercise three times on each foot.
Toe To Wall Stretch: To begin this stretch, the heel should be on the ground and the toes on the wall. Place the opposite foot behind you. Keep the legs straight and move the entire body forward. Do not move your upper body forward and stick your backside out. You should feel a very strong stretch in the back of the calf and some stretch in the arch. To increase the stretch, move your heel closer to the wall and increase the angle of your foot. To decrease the stretch, move your heel back and lower your toes. Hold for 60 seconds and repeat 3 times.
To properly treat heel pain, you must absorb shock, provide cushioning and elevate the heel to transfer pressure. This can be accomplished with a heel cup, visco heel cradle, or an orthotic designed with materials that will absorb shock and shear forces – that we offer at www.dtfootwear.com in our footwear and our famous Heat Moldable Cushiomized Insert – oh yes, that comes FREE when you purchase shoes form us. When the condition is pronation related (usually plantar fasciitis), an orthotic with medial posting and good arch support will control the pronation and prevent the inflammation of the plantar fascia. Footwear selection is also an important criteria when treating heel pain. Shoes with a firm heel counter, good arch support, and appropriate heel height are the ideal choice.
Buy Men’s Athletic Footwear with high toe-boxes as view here and found in our Men’s and Women’s Athletic section found www.dtfootwear.com
Buy Women’s Athletic Footwear with high toe-boxes: As found here and a ton of additional styles for men and women located in the Shoe Section of Men’s Atheltic and Women’s athletic