Foot and heel pain is a very common complaint among athletes and non-athletes alike. Plantar fasciitis is a very common condition causing heel pain. Symptoms usually start suddenly, often occur after a rapid increase in activity and are felt as a stabbing pain on the bottom or side of the heel, or as a sensation of tenderness or tightness along the arch.
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that supports your arch and connects the ball of your foot to the heel. This tissue can become inflamed with repetitive weight-bearing activities. This condition can develop in athletes and non-athletes alike.
Symptoms are usually worst when getting out of bed in the morning taking the first few steps, standing up after prolonged sitting, after prolonged standing, after walking barefoot or in shoes with poor support, or after an intense weight-bearing activity such as running or stair-climbing. Frequently, people report that symptoms improve over the course of the day as the body warms up, but then progressively get worse later in the day with prolonged walking or standing.
Stand with arms against the wall or solid surface Standing Calf Stretch – side view
If the standing ankle stretch is too uncomfortable, this seated stretch is a good alternative.
Seated towel or belt stretch
Sit with your affected foot in front of you. Place a belt at the base of your toes and pull back, stretching the long plantar ligament.
Plantar Fascia-Self Stretch
Sit on the edge of a bench or a chair. Place a tennis ball on the ground and place your involved foot on the ball. Apply pressure and run your foot back and forth over the ball, massaging the underside of your foot. Don’t press so hard that you are in pain.
Of course, the best thing is to prevent Plantar Fasciitis in the first place, but if you have developed this condition, it is worthwhile to get it checked out promptly. Most of the time symptoms can be resolved with conservative measures so that you feel better and can get back to the activities you enjoy.