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Prevent Plantar Fasciitis So You Don't Have to Treat It

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

Plantar fasciitis is a common injury among runners and athletes that can cause immense pain, inflammation, and loss of mobility. It's important to be aware of the signs and symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis so you can take steps for treatment or prevention. In this blog post we'll explore what plantar fasciitis is, at home treatment methods, as well as preventive measures to avoid future issues from developing. We'll also discuss the importance of strength training exercises in preventing injuries related to plantar fasciitis.



What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is a common condition that affects the bottom of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation caused by excessive stretching and tearing of the plantar fascia ligament which connects your heel bone to your toes. This can cause sharp pain in your heel and arch area, especially when you first stand up after sitting for long periods or after getting out of bed in the morning. It’s a very common injury among runners, athletes, weight lifters and even moms who are constantly on their feet all day.


Common causes of plantar fasciitis include running without proper warm-up, wearing inadequate footwear, having tight calf muscles, being overweight, standing for long periods with improper posture, having flat feet or high arches, and having weak core muscles leading to poor biomechanics while walking, running, jumping. Additionally, an increase in intensity or duration during exercise routines can also lead to this condition.

Symptoms usually start gradually with mild pain at the beginning which increases gradually over time if not treated properly. Common symptoms include intense pain in heels upon waking up in the mornings, which subsides as you move around but returns again after prolonged standing, walking or running activities throughout the day; tenderness along the inner sole near the heel area when pressed firmly.

Plantar Fasciitis is a painful and often debilitating condition that affects the foot. Fortunately, there are various treatment options available to help alleviate pain and discomfort associated with this condition. In the next heading, we will discuss some of these treatments in detail.

 

Home Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis


Self Myofascial Release Techniques involve using foam rollers or massage balls to apply pressure to the affected area in order to release tension in the muscles and fascia of the foot. This helps reduce inflammation and promote healing.


Calf Stretch Exercises are an effective way to stretch out tight calf muscles which can cause plantar fasciitis pain. Stand facing a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart about two feet away from it, then place both hands on the wall at chest height while keeping your back leg straight and

heel flat on the ground as you lean forward into the wall until you feel a stretch in your calf muscle. Hold this position for 30 seconds before switching legs and repeating 2-3 times per side.


Towel Scrunches and Manual Stretching Exercises: Use your toes to scrunch up a towel as far as possible before releasing it slowly for 10 repetitions per session twice daily for optimal results. Furthermore, manual stretching exercises such as flexing or pointing of the toes, focusing on great toe extension or drawing circles with them can help alleviate symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis by increasing flexibility in these areas of the body over time when done regularly enough.


Strength Training Exercises should also be incorporated into any treatment and prehab plan for plantar fasciitis since they help strengthen weak muscles around joints which may have been contributing factors leading up to its development initially. Examples include calf raises (single leg and double leg), squats (bodyweight and weighted), step ups (single leg and double leg), all performed within comfortable ranges of motion without causing further discomfort or aggravation during execution itself. Core and glute strengthening are important for providing proximal stability and to help improve your biomechanics which most likely contributed to the onset of your plantar fasciitis. One of my favorites is performing bird dogs while specifically placing the foot not being extended into a toe extension to get a good stretch on the plantar fascia. We love to incorporate combination exercises in our KMF workouts so you get the most out of your workouts. Here are some of my favorites to not on treat but prevent plantar fasciitis.

 

Calf Raises

When performing calf raises, focus on getting your toes into full extension by standing on stacked plates or a step.


Pause Squats

Pause Squats focus on strengthening those glutes and also encourage stretching of your calf and improve ankle mobility.



Step Ups

Step up variations are a KMF favorite to target those glutes.


Bird Dogs

Notice how the toes of the lower extremity on the floor are in FULL extension to get a good stretch of the plantar fascia while strengthening your core and glutes at the same time.



Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis can help reduce pain and discomfort, but prevention is the best way to avoid developing this condition. In the next section, we will discuss how to prevent plantar fasciitis from occurring in the first place.

Key Takeaway: Plantar fasciitis can be treated with self myofascial release techniques, wall calf stretch exercises, manual stretching exercises, and high load strength training exercises. These treatments can help reduce pain and improve mobility by releasing tension in the muscles and fascia of the foot while strengthening weak muscles around joints.


 

Prevention of Plantar Fasciitis


To prevent this injury, it’s important to warm up before any exercise or activity. This can include both static and dynamic stretching, such as walking lunges or calf raises. It’s also important to wear appropriate footwear for running or other activities. Shoes should be well-cushioned and provide arch support, as well as fit properly in order to reduce strain on the plantar fascia. Find a local running store and have them properly fit you for the most appropriate shoe based on your biomechanics and running stride. Lastly, progressive strength training exercises can help prevent plantar fasciitis from occurring in the first place. Focusing on incorporating exercises that focus on calf, glute and core strengthening as demonstrated above are key to this injury prevention.




Runners, it's time to take action and protect your feet! Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that can put you out of running for weeks or months. To prevent this injury, make sure to stretch regularly before runs, wear supportive shoes with good arch support and incorporate STRENGTH TRAINING into your regular workouts. Our KMF workouts are intentionally programmed with exercises to help prevent injuries and get you to perform at your peak potential. If you do experience plantar fasciitis pain, don't ignore it - seek medical advice right away so you can get the best treatment plan possible. Taking these steps now will help keep your feet healthy for years of running enjoyment!



Train smart, be consistent and unlock your fitness potential,


Jennifer McMahon PT, DPT







**The content in this physical therapy blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The author and publisher of this blog post are not liable for any errors or omissions in the content, nor for any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use. Reliance on any information provided by this blog post is solely at your own risk.**


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