Thursday, 29 October 2015

Plantar Fasciitis: exercises to help sooth heel pain

You perhaps never thought much about your heel bone until the pain jolted you. A ligament that connects the front of your foot to your heel, plantar fascia can be a problem area for a lot of people. According to experts, heel pain has been affecting more than 50% of Americans, with the most common cause being plantar fasciitis. Physical exertion such as running, aerobics, or even weight gain can tear or damage the plantar fascia, leading to pain and inflammation.

Apart from runners, plantar fasciitis is also very common in pregnant women, as the extra weight can cause inflammation. If you do suffer from plantar fascia, do not be disheartened. There are several steps you can take to ease out the pain.

Stretching:

Taut muscles in your calves and feet tend to aggravate plantar fasciitis. Prevent or soothe the pain with some of these simple stretches advised by experts.

Stretch the calve muscles:

  1. Stand at an arm’s length from the wall.
  2. Put your right foot at the back of your left.
  3. Gently and slowly, bend the left leg forward while keeping the right leg completely straight.
  4. Hold your position for 15 to 30 seconds and then release.
  5. Perform this stretch exercise thrice.
  6. Repeat the same exercise by reversing the position of your legs.
Stretching the plantar fascia:

  1. While sitting on a chair, place a frozen water bottle under your foot and roll it back and forth. Perform this maneuver for a minute and then shift to the other foot.
  2. Cross over your legs to perform a big toe stretch. Hold your big toe and pull it towards you. Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds. Perform this exercise thrice, then repeat the same exercise by reversing the position of your foot.
  3. For your third exercise, make an exercise strap by folding your towel lengthwise. Once done, put the folded towel under both your feet. Hold the towel ends with both hands, and pull the top of your feet towards you. Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds, and release. Perform this maneuver thrice.
Not only will these stretches help you in getting rid of any heel pain, but doing them regularly will also prevent plantar fasciitis.

Some common precautions and tips

Take it easy

You will have to avoid running till the inflammation in your heels calms down. Take at least two weeks off and make sure you ice the area and perform the stretches.

Start slowly

Once ice and rest have healed your heel pain, you can start tiny runs. However, make sure you run smaller distance and slowly. Stop after every few minutes to stretch. Start lengthening the runs slowly.

While regular stretching and rest can help mend plantar fasciitis, make sure you visit your doctor regularly. It is important to show your progress to an expert to know you’re headed in the right direction.

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