Today we are going to do the top 3 exercises
for plantar fasciitis. First we are going to talk about what plantar fasciitis is. If you
break down plantar fasciitis, the word plantar means the bottom surface of the foot, right
here. Fascia, like myofascial pain syndrome, what fascia is is the loose covering
around muscle and tendons in the body. If you ever eat chicken and you take off the
skin, there is that thin membrane surrounding the actual meat of the chicken.
That is fascia. You have a really thick fascia on the underside of your foot. That
is the plantar fascia. Fasciitis, that last i-t-i-s, what that means, itis means inflammation.
So dermatitis, appendicitis, they are inflammation of the skin and appendix respectively.
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of that fascia on the underside of the foot.
It happens a lot with running. It also happens a lot with people who are overweight and stand
on their feet for long periods. It is pretty painful condition that we see a lot. What
will happen is the person will usually have very specific pain right here on the calcaneus.
That is where the plantar fascia connects to. The 3 things that we normally do in the clinic
are this. The first is you can take a roll or a Coke can works well or any sort of cold
can. Because with plantar fasciitis meaning inflammation, you want to use ice to calm
it down. One of the common exercises we will do is just have a person start on their
heel then roll it forward the whole way along the plantar fascia, the whole way along the
plantar surface of the foot. You can do that for a minute or two. Pretty simple. The second exercise that we do is a common
condition that accompanies plantar fasciitis is something called hallux rigidus.
It is a big fancy term that means that the big toe, your first toe, cannot bend back adequately.
So what happens is the person is walking through and they are walking and they
are pushing off. When they strike their heel and they go to roll through, they don’t
have that extension, they don’t have that movement, the range of motion with their big
toe. So another thing we want to do is stretch that. What that will do is take pressure
off of the plantar fasciitis as the person is walking or as they are running. What we do
is sit figure 4, grab the big toe and pull it back towards you. 30 second hold and in the
clinic, we do 3 of those. The second is a big toe stretch or the great toe stretch.
You should feel that right through here and if you do have plantar fasciitis, you may feel
it the whole way back to your heel. The third and final exercise is a plantar
fascia stretch. What we do is it is very similar to the great toe stretch but you stretch all
5 toes back at the same time. You grab a bath towel and anchor your heel. into the towel then pull back. It is pretty
simple. The same thing, you should feel a stretch all along the plantar fascia, all
along the underside of your foot. 30 second hold, 3 times. What you can do, a little trick is
you can anchor the towel on your knee so you are not having to pull up the whole time and
end up with some other sort of problem. It takes all of the pressure off of your arms.
30 second hold, 3 times. Those are the 3 exercises for plantar fasciitis.