Plantar fasciitis, which can feel like a scorpion is digging into the bottom of your feet, can turn your daily gym session or even a simple stroll to the supermarket into a hellish experience. If this sounds like your day-to-day, know you’re not alone. One in 10 Americans will deal with plantar fasciitis (PF) in their lifetime, according to a study in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences. Read on to learn more about PF, then gain a foothold on the problem by tackling the recommended stretches.
Your fascia tissue—which connects your heel to your toes—is inflamed, and the pain is debilitating. Even the most basic tasks make you wince.
The most common causes of plantar fasciitis are being overweight, lacking toe strength and mobility, and participating in high-impact activities like jumping and sprinting. However, a lesser-known cause is not doing enough dorsiflexion (aka pointing your toes toward the sky). Doing this counteracts the constant downward position our toes are usually in, which can leave the fascia tissue tighter than Scrooge’s wallet.
One good step is to treat yourself to a foot massage. This increases the blood flow, making the tissue more malleable—because if the tissue is too tight, even stretching won’t do you too much good. If that’s out of your budget, loosen up the fascia by rolling the bottom of your foot on a lacrosse ball or golf ball. Then move on to the stretches below, which involve dorsiflexion and extension. Finally, make it a point to extend and flex your individual toes throughout the day. As simple as it sounds, it’ll counteract foot pain.
You can (and should) do these stretches whenever you feel foot pain.
- Lacrosse Ball Foot Roll: 1 min. each foot
- Toe Flex and Extend: 1 min. each foot
- Banded Ankle Distraction: 1 min. each foot
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