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Plantar Fasciitis Exercises

February 13, 20242 min read

Plantar fasciitis is a common issue which results in pain in the heel. The most frustrating thing about plantar fasciitis is that there is no magic fix.

There are a number of elements to treating this podiatric problem, however full recovery is possible with patience and consistency with all parts of the treatment!

This blog will focus on the role that exercises have to play in healing plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is caused by a combination of tensile and compressive forces at the heel. A person's weight and the way they walk makes up the compression, and the flexibility of the surrounding soft tissue (or lack thereof) make up the tensile forces.

Generally, those with plantar fasciitis will have tight calf muscles, so the exercises we usually start with include calf stretches.

Some patients also find fascia stretches relieve the tension in the bottom of their foot, so we prescribe those at times also.

Exercises will eventually move on to focus on strengthening the lower leg. This is done at a later stage as it can sometimes aggravate the plantar fascia if introduced too early.

Exercises are prescribed based on a number of factors, including the severity of the injury, the patient's goals and the patient's ability to carry out the movement.

Exercise repetitions are tailored to the patient based on the same factors, and reviewed at regular intervals to aid in steady recovery.

When a patient fully recovers, we advise that they continue these exercises as plantar fasciitis has been known to return to those who thought that heel pain and the effort of exercises was a distant memory.

Some advice we give our patients is to stretch before physical activity, and to work the stretches into their every day routine.

Examples I give of this include carrying out the exercises while brushing teeth or while waiting on the kettle to boil. It is those who manage to incorporate the exercises into their everyday routine, and follow all advice as a whole, who succeed.

It is important to note that no amount of strength and conditioning will solve plantar fasciitis on its own (in this lifetime anyway!). Full recovery relies just as heavily on offloading as it does on these exercises.

Those who recover fully from this nasty nuisance combine strength and conditioning, offloading and personalised advice from their podiatrists to reach their goals. Exercises only play one part, although a very important one.

If you're suffering from heel pain and you're ready to put an end to this once and for all, give us a call! We're ready to help if you're ready to commit to yourself and your recovery. 

Don't let your pain put you off your game, book today!

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
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Robert Meagher

Robert Meagher, Podiatrist at Peak Podiatry, Galway

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