Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your very first steps in the morning. Once your foot limbers up, the pain of plantar fasciitis normally decreases, but it may return after long periods of standing or after getting up from a seated position.
Plantar fasciitis is particularly common in runners. In addition, people who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support are at risk of plantar fasciitis. The typical treatments include stretching exercises, anti-inflammatory medication (ibuprofen etc), steroid injections, ultrasound, stem cell injection and surgery.
A New Treatment
A new study, published in August in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, finds that a single exercise could be even more effective. The new exercise volunteers performed eight to 12 repetitions of the exercise every other day. Other volunteers completed a standard plantar fasciitis stretching regimen, in which they pulled their toes toward their shins 10 times, three times a day. After three months, those in the exercise group reported vast improvements. Their pain and disability had declined significantly. Those who did standard stretches, on the other hand, showed little improvement after three months, although, with a further nine months of stretching, most reported pain relief.
- Stand barefoot on the affected leg on a stair or box, with a rolled-up towel resting beneath the toes of the sore foot.
- The heel should extend over the edge of the stair or box.
- The unaffected leg should hang free, bent slightly at the knee.
- Slowly raise and lower the affected heel to a count of three seconds up, two seconds at the top and three seconds down.
Join Family Medicine!
A few of us suffer from plantar fasciitis here at the office and have begun this new exercise. Join us! We would love to hear how the exercise is working for you. We’ll post our findings here in a few months. You may EMAIL US, please do NOT include any personal or medical information.
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Information provided on this website and in the Doctor’s Blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. Please consult your health care professional for evaluation of your individual case.