Are you frustrated by a persistent pain on the bottom of your foot?
Three years ago, Caroline was sidelined with a crazy foot injury that changed her entire life.
She could no longer do any of those activities she loved. In fact, she was unable to do normal daily activities like walking to the grocery store without unbearable foot pain.
She made significant improvements by teaching herself what felt best for her foot; however, she continued to feel limited by her pain.
Caroline found Evercore Physical Therapy through a Google search which led her to our Facebook and IG videos. She watched our exercise videos and messaged us to schedule an assessment for a structured rehab program.
Caroline and Dr. Marc
Are you looking for the best Plantar Fasciitis exercises like Caroline?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common injuries to the foot and I receive daily messages from people who want to know the “best” exercise for conditions like plantar fasciitis.
The “best” exercise for any injury doesn’t exist because the best exercises are based on your individual needs as determined by an assessment from your physical therapist.
A lot the information on the internet is hyped up too much to capture your attention and motivate you to take action. I agree that it’s important for you to take action for plantar fasciitis, but I’m not going to promise you three exercises to “cure” your plantar fasciitis because the recovery process from plantar fasciitis requires more than knowing how to perform three exercises.
Ultimately, you need guidance from a physical therapist to teach you the proper mindset, exercises, and training techniques to manage plantar fasciitis better and overcome the setbacks and frustrations when dealing with reoccurring plantar fasciitis.
In this article, I will show you three exercises that are based on the best research for reducing plantar fasciitis. These are three of my favorite exercises for plantar fasciitis and they are certainly better than the majority of exercises on the internet to “fix” plantar fasciitis.
Please Note: These exercises are not all-inclusive treatment of plantar fasciitis, however, they are three important categories of exercises most people should be doing for the long-term recovery from plantar fasciitis. Consult with your physical therapist to implement these exercises.
Equipment you need for these exercises:
1) One light resistance Evercore miniband.
2) Rolled up towel
Exercise #1: Big Toe Pushdowns
Starting position: Big toe is extended with the Evercore miniband.
Ending position: Big toe pushes down into the Evercore miniband.
Instructions: Place the Evercore miniband around the big toe. Place the non-painful portion of your heel on the towel. Start with the big toe extended backward then push the big toe into the miniband. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
Helpful Tips: It should take 3-4 seconds to push down and 3-4 seconds to return to the starting position.
Where should you feel it? You should feel the muscles on the bottom of the big toe working.
Why should you do it? This exercise will strengthen the arch of your foot to provide stability to the foot and reduce strain on the plantar fasciitis.
Exercise #2: Big Toe Stretch
Starting position: Stabilize the arch of your foot with one hand and the big toe with the other hand.
Ending position: The big toe should end in an extended position
Instructions: Cross your leg, grab the inside arch of your foot with one hand, and stabilize the big toe with the other hand. Pull the big toe apart and move the big toe backwards while maintaining the pull of the joint.
Helpful Tips: Pull the big toe like you are pulling your finger prior to moving it backwards. If you don’t understanding this technique, then just move the big toe upward because that is still an effective stretch.
Where should you feel it? You will feel like you are pulling the big toe apart. Start gentle at first to get accustomed to the feeling. You may also feel a stretch along the plantar fascia.
Why should you do it? Pulling the big toe creates separation to alleviate pressure in the joint. Gliding the joint helps the bony surfaces of the big toe to move smoothly. The combination of all these techniques help to increase mobility in the big toe and reduce strain on the plantar fascia.
Exercise #3: Heel Raises with Big Toe Extension
Starting position: The foot is flat on the towel with the big toe extended on the rolled up portion of the towel.
Ending position: Rise up onto the ball of the foot.
Instructions: Roll up the towel to approximately 2 inches in diameter. Place the big toe on the rolled up towel to extend the big toe. Rise up onto the ball of the foot and distribute the weight of your foot between the 1st and 2nd toe.
Helpful Tips: The foot should be placed directly under the knee or slightly behind the knee. Add weight onto the end of the thigh with your hands to add resistance. Eventually, you should be doing this exercise in a standing position.
Where should you feel it? You should feel a stretch in the big toe and plantar fascia. The calf muscle will be working too.
Why should you do it? This exercise helps to strengthen the arch of the foot and calf muscles while simultaneously stretching the big toe and plantar facia. You need to strengthen the foot to recover from plantar fasciitis.
What is the main takeaway?
There is no quick “fix” or three “best” exercises for plantar fasciitis: however, these types of exercises should be incorporated into an exercise-based rehab program to help you recover from plantar fasciitis better.
Plantar fasciitis tends to be reoccurring; therefore, the long-term management of load to the plantar fascia is the primary goal for long-lasting benefits.
We can manage the load to the plantar fascia through exercises, stretches, and modifying your activities. Here are three helpful reminders when dealing with plantar fasciitis.
- - There is no quick fix.
- - Be aware that your body requires time to adapt and recover.
- - Be patient and understand setbacks are a normal part of your prehab and rehab journey.
You are not alone in your feelings of frustration. I want you to believe there is hope to walk, run, and get back to the activities you love with no pain or significantly less pain.
The research and my personal experience with clients show that it is possible to regain your strength, mobility and quality of life with plantar fasciitis.
How can you erase your past struggles with plantar fasciitis and re-write a new future?
I recommend that you consult with a good, local physical therapist for an exercise-based rehab program. The research shows you can reduce plantar fasciitis through a progressive strength training program.
The program needs to be progressed based on your body’s response to the exercises. Take action today and schedule an assessment with your physical therapist.
If you still need help, then join our plantar fasciitis support group to connect with others who have plantar fasciitis and learn what is helping them. The link to join the group is at the end of this article.
Get inflammation under control
A major source of chronic pain is elevated levels of systemic inflammation. Many people feel less pain when they switch to an anti-inflammatory diet and cut out processed foods. You can also take Turmeric Extract. Turmeric Extract, not Turmeric powder, is shown by studies to promote a healthy inflammation response which can help you potentially reduce pain.
Since inflammation also plays a role in most major chronic diseases, you'll receive other health benefits too.