Plantar Fasciitis Prevention

A very large number of athletes have experienced the debilitating pain and discomfort of plantar fasciitis. One of the proven ways to avoid this injury and the time-consuming rehabilitation process that normally follows, is to take proactive preventative measures involving stretching and strengthening exercises.

The plantar fascia is the wide band of connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot between the metatarsal bones of the toes and all the way to your heel. One of the best ways to avoid stressing this area to the point that your heel hurts, is to do some stretching and strengthening exercises that will keep the Achilles tendons and calf muscles flexible and robust. This can help prevent putting too much stress on the plantar fascia, redistributing the forces in a better direction.

Plantar Fascia Abatement Exercises

Arch pull—From a seated position, place one foot over your lap and pull the toes back to stretch out the tissues. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 10 times.

Calf pull—While facing the wall with one of your legs forward and the other one back, bend the knee of the front leg and hold for ten seconds for a good stretch. Switch and repeat ten times with each leg.

Step stretch—While standing on the edge of a step, gradually lower your heels to produce a stretch in your Achilles tendons and calf muscles. Raise your heels up and down and repeat ten times for a great stretch.

Calf muscle exercises—From a standing position, raise your heels to stretch your calf muscles. Repeat ten times.

Toe strengthening exercises—Using an elastic band modestly wrapped around your toes, spread your toes wide and then release them. Repeat this exercise ten to twenty times. Another great toe exercise is to pick up marbles with your toes and then drop them. You can also do towel scrunching exercises by placing a small towel on the floor and slowly and deliberately scrunching it back and forth with your toes. Attitude and concentration on your efforts is everything!

Despite your best efforts, if you run into any problems with plantar fasciitis be sure to consult with your foot care professional. At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts.  Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, and Gregory Cook, DPM, provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.