Plantar Fasciitis Exercises
Plantar Fasciitis Exercises are common, but are they beneficial?
Most new patients that arrive at our clinic are performing Plantar Fasciitis Exercises but are not sure if they are doing the right thing.
They ask, should I be doing Plantar Fasciitis Exercises, because my heel pain doesn’t seem to be improving?
In general, the answer is no!
The Plantar Fascia, once inflamed needs to rest. If the Plantar Fascia can rest, then it can recover. The majority of new patients coming to out clinic are performing Plantar Fasciitis Exercises that are aggravating the condition.
Plantar Fasciitis doesn’t come about due to a weakness of the foot muscles or a weakness of the fascia, so doing exercises to strengthen the foot is not beneficial.
Loading the foot with extra body weight or force during a strengthening exercise can cause pulling of the fascia on the heel, and this can prolong the Plantar Fasciitis.
There are a variety of Plantar Fasciitis exercises that are common:
- The step stretch. Hanging the heel off the back of a step or kerb.
- Pulling the toes back. Using your hands or a towel.
- Heel raises. These put a lot of stress on the foot and can really aggravate Plantar Fasciitis.
- Pushing the toes against a wall.
Performing these Plantar Fasciitis Exercises can sometimes give short-term relief and hence hope to patients. Due to this short-term relief, patients continue doing the exercises. It becomes habitual, and almost instinctive. Patients perform these stretches without even thinking about it sometimes. They instinctively hand their heel off a step when they are on the escalator, or without thinking about it will grab hold of their toes and pull backwards, whilst watching television.
It’s only after months of heel pain from Plantar Fasciitis that they realise something they are doing is wrong. They eventually work out that the Plantar Fasciitis Exercises may be prolonging their Heel Pain.
Why are so many people performing Plantar Fasciitis Exercises?
The problem is that everybody has access to the World Wide Web these days and there are so many websites that recommend these stretches. Furthermore, most G.P’s have limited knowledge when it comes to the treatment of Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs and Heel Pain.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
The treatment of Plantar Fasciitis is much more complex than just Plantar Fasciitis Exercises.
There are many factors to consider such as the different causes of the condition, which vary from patient to patient. The individual cause must first be removed before an appropriate treatment plan is put in place.
The treatment plan may include some exercises but these will be very specific calf stretches that release the heel without straining the fascia at the same time.
The relevant type of support will then be installed: Shoes, boots, splints, footwear changes or taping. It depends which of these the patient needs.
You may also read more about Plantar Fasciitis Treatment.
Factors that accelerate healing of Plantar Fasciitis.
Once the above principles have been applied it is then an option to speed up the recovery of the Plantar Fasciitis with things such as ice packs, shock wave therapy or acupuncture.
If you are performing Plantar Fasciitis Exercises and are you are still in pain then stop!
At Sydney Heel Pain Clinic we can put the correct treatment plan in place for you.
Written by Karl Lockett