If you have recently been diagnosed with plantar-fasciitis or you are experiencing pain in your aches and heel, then you must be wondering what the best exercises are. Read more to find out
When dealing with plantar-fasciitis or heel pain, specific exercises can go a long way in managing your pain and treating the cause once and for all.
Knowing which exercises to do can be tricky. Especially when there are a variety of different exercises to choose from. How do you know which one is best for you? How do you know which one will actually make a difference? This is what this article aims to address.
The key to knowing which exercises will work, is by firstly confirming what your diagnosis is.
For example: If you have torn a muscle in your heel, then the exercises that I would
recommend for you would be very different to the exercises you would do if you had just suffered a strain or if you have plantar-fasciitis.
Once you have a diagnosis, an exercise program can be tailored. To make the program effective and targeted towards your needs, you need to figure out what deficits you have or which muscles may require further strengthening and stretching to relieve your symptoms.
Plantar fasciitis for example has shown evidence to be linked with
- Ankle mobility (your ability to move your ankle up & down through its range of motion)
- Calf muscle strength, Soleus strength & Tibialis posterior muscle strength (this muscle lays very close to the calf)
- Calf tightness
- Plantar-fascia tightness (muscle that lays where the ‘arch’ of your foot is)
- As well as many other factors such as age, footwear, weight etc. (see WHY ROLLING YOUR FOOT ON A BALL WON’T FIX YOUR PLANTAR FASCIITIS (thefootcareclinic.com.au).
It is impossible to tell you which of these deficits you have without a proper muscle strength assessment, however we can start by using a basic program that targets the most common areas of muscle related weakness and restriction that is normally seen in individuals with plantar-fasciitis & other heel related pain at our clinic.
I would start your program by focusing on the following
- Strengthening your calf muscles
- Stretching your calf & soleus (muscle that lays beneath the calf) muscles (target soleus by keeping knee bent during exercise)
- Stretching your arch tendon
- Improving your ankle mobility
The most common exercises that address the following are listed below.
I suggest completing these exercises daily/2nd daily at the minimum, however I recommend you contact the clinic to discuss a tailored program that can be specific to you.
While these exercises above are a great place to start, they are only a recommendation and by no means are a prescription specifically for you. The only true way to know which exercises are best for you, is to book in with our team and receive a muscle testing and injury assessment that can best determine what you require.