Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that results from swelling of the plantar fascia. This is a thick strip of tissue connecting the bones of your toes to your heel. In today's post, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, shares some exercise tips for sufferers of this condition.
Plantar fasciitis typically causes stabbing pain when taking your first steps after you get out of bed. As you begin to move around, the pain normally decreases. However, it may come back when you stand up after sitting for a while or standing for extended periods.
Shaped like a bowstring, the plantar fascia tissue absorbs shock when you walk and supports your foot’s arch. If the tension becomes too great, small tears occur. Repeated tearing and stretching can lead to chronic inflammation and irritation.
If you ignore the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, you may be setting yourself up for chronic heel pain that will affect your daily activities. Changing how you walk to relieve your pain can cause future knee, hip, back, or foot problems. So, it's important to get proper treatment as soon as possible.
Regardless of your exercise regimen or which sport you favor, ensure that your shoes have proper heel and arch support. Buy new shoes as often as needed to provide continued cushioning and support.
3 Important Exercise Tips
- Avoid high-impact activities. Running and jumping put added stress on your feet. They can also tighten your calf muscles if you don't stretch them out before exercising. If you're into running and want to continue, take a few weeks off to rest and ice your feet. Then start again slowly, building up endurance and distance gradually.
- Stretch. Easy at-home exercises can fortify your plantar fascia. When you exercise, pay special attention to stretching your Achilles tendon, the bottom of your foot, and calves. Other exercises that strengthen your foot and lower leg muscles can help reduce pain and stabilize your ankle to prevent plantar fasciitis from returning.
- Opt for low-impact exercise. Activities such as cycling, yoga, elliptical cardio, or swimming won't cause plantar fasciitis, nor will they worsen it if you have it. If you can, do things like relaxing your toes and making circles with your feet and ankles. Stretch out your feet and calves before and after you exercise.
If you’ve got heel pain that’s keeping you from your favorite daily activities, contact Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, today to make an appointment. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936.