If you have taken up new hobbies during lockdown, in order to keep active and try something new. This month’s blog may apply to you. Some have chosen to take up walking or running.

This month’s blog is about Plantar Fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis is commonly caused by a repetitive strain injury to a ligament in the sole of your foot. This can be caused by excessive walking or running, inadequate or incorrect footwear and also a high impact such as landing in an awkward position.

Symptoms of such an injury can be pain in the arch of the foot and also towards the heel, it hurts to walk on, and it is difficult to raise your toes. Pain does subside during exercise, but it returns when resting again.

Here are some exercises taken from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, if you suspect you have such an injury:

Stretch calf sitting 

  • Sit down with one leg outstretched and the other bent.
  • Place a strap around the ball of your outstretched foot and hold the ends of the strap in your hands.
  • Pull up against the strap until you feel a stretch at the back of your leg.
  • Maintain the position.
  • Repeat the above with your other leg.

Calf stretch with leg swing

  • Lean forward with your hands on a table or wall and keep the rear heel down and toes pointed inward. You should feel a comfortable stretch in your rear leg’s calf.
  • From this position, swing the front leg side to side.
  • Keep the rear leg straight and your spine tall.

Plantar fascia release

  • Sit on a straight back chair with one foot on a tennis ball, the other foot flat on the floor and your back in a neutral position (slightly arched).
  • Roll the ball under the arch of your foot from heel to toes.

Intrinsic foot muscle

  • Stand in front of a wall with your knees slightly flexed. Place your hands on the wall.
  • Increase the height of the arch by doing an inversion an actively attempt to approximate the head of the first metatarsal toward the heel without flexing the toes.
  • Keep the pressure on the metacarpal head without clinching on the ground with the toes.
  • While maintaining the contraction on one foot, lift the other leg off the floor and keep the knee of the weight-bearing leg flexed 10-20 degrees.
  • Hold the position as recommended and try to maintain the arch as steady as possible.
  • Slowly lower the arch back to the relaxed state under control.
  • Repeat.

Medial reach with foot

  • Stand on the involved leg.
  • Glide the opposite leg directly to the side as far as possible (pain-free) by bending the involved knee.
  • Return to starting position without touching the foot down.

Toe flexion w/plantarflexion

  • Begin in a seated position with the ankles pointing downward. Maintain this position, then flex and relax the toes.

Standing soleus stretching

  • Stand and place both hands on a wall, with your feet about half a meter from the wall.
  • Place one leg behind the other and slowly bend the knees while keeping the heels on the floor until you feel a stretch in the calf of the back leg.
  • Maintain the stretch and relax.

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