Runner suffering from plantar fasciitis
Pain Management

Best exercises for plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis can be a stubborn and painful injury to resolve. It can significantly impact on your hobbies and day-to-day activities. However, with the right advice and exercises for plantar fasciitis you can prevent it from happening or significantly reduce your pain. In the first instance, a tailored treatment plan is best so book in for an appointment with us as soon as possible.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis (plantar heel pain) is pain located around the arch (sole) of the foot and can radiate to the heel. It occurs when the collagen fibres that make up the plantar fascia become overloaded. This leads to degeneration of the collagen fibres resulting in pain, thickening of the tendon and reduced activity levels. For a more detailed description of plantar fasciitis visit Physiopedia.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

  • Experiencing pain around the heel/arch of your foot first thing in morning when you put weight on the foot
  • Pain around the arch of your foot after you stand up if you have been sitting for a while
  • Experiencing pain in less supportive shoes (slippers or barefoot)
  • Pain on palpation of the fascia in and around the arch of your foot

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is commonly caused by a sudden change in load, strength deficits in the calf or soleus muscle or unsupportive footwear. For example, a sudden increase in running/walking distance, poor quality running shoes or a change to the terrain (more hills) can cause plantar fasciitis.

Top four exercises for plantar fasciitis pain

The best advice for anyone with plantar fasciitis is to book an assessment with a Chartered Physiotherapist and follow a graded exercise programme. Contact us now to book an appointment. In the meantime, try the following exercises to help ease plantar fasciitis pain.

  • Stretching the arch of the foot against the door. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat three times
  • Dynamic calf stretches at the wall continuous movement for 30 seconds. Pulse ankle up and down repeat three times
  • Sitting position roll the arch of your foot on a tennis ball for 60 seconds, repeat three times
  • Heel raise on a 0-30 degree incline approximately (as guided by your physiotherapist)

The best physiotherapy treatments that help resolve plantar fasciitis

The fastest way to resolve plantar fasciitis is to book a physiotherapy appointment and receive tailored, specific exercises and advice. Book with us now for an appointment. Unless assessed by a physiotherapist, plantar fasciitis can go undiagnosed. If the pain is not resolving with exercises and rest, the evidenced based physiotherapy treatments listed below can also help to reduce pain. These will normally be used in conjunction with exercises and will significantly speed up the healing process.

  • Graded exercise programme and load management
  • Orthotics (insoles) if foot position is contributing to symptoms
  • Taping
  • Dry needling
  • Shockwave therapy

When to return to activities such as running?

As a guide, running should only be attempted when there is no pain walking for 60 minutes, approximately, and no pain is experienced first thing in the morning. It is important to note that this is only a guideline, recovery times will vary from person to person.

Plantar fasciitis is a common injury but is easy to treat. The best advice is to seek help from a chartered physiotherapist early and this will speed up the recovery process. This is important and will ensure you get the correct diagnosis as the pain could be coming from your back, hip or knee. To prevent plantar fasciitis from happening, slowly increase load on the foot and make sure to wear good, supportive shoes when running. Strengthening and stretching will also help to prevent it from occurring. If you have plantar fasciitis or need any advice on injury prevention, contact us or make a booking online.

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