After the long winter months the sudden onslaught
of spring and brighter days often leads to sudden increases in outdoor
activities, especially walking and hiking. However, this sudden increase
in activity can result in pain the heel or arch, a condition called Plantar
Fasciitis (inflammation of the soles of the feet). To decrease
the pain, or as a preventative, try the following…
- Sit in chair, place a tennis ball on floor, place foot on top of ball
- Press foot into tennis ball as you roll it back and forth in arch
area of foot
- Do this for 3 minutes
- Place bath towel on smooth floor, long side facing you, seated.
- Starting at one end of towel so that inside/arch of foot is along
outside edge, bend the ankle to “scoot” the towel under
- Keep progressing until all of the towel has been “scooted”
and outside edge of foot is along the other edge of towel.
- Place 20 large cotton balls on floor, empty cup next to foot
- One at a time, pick up cotton ball using toes, curling them over cotton
- Drop cotton ball into cup, spreading toes wide as you do so
- Repeat until all cotton balls are in cup (if you miss the cup, pick
ball up again!)
Stretching Program (***make sure your toes are facing forward!):
||Facing wall, arms length away, place hands on wall
Place problem foot a step back
Keep this knee straight and bend knee of front leg
Shift body weight forward until feel stretch in back calf
Hold for count of 20, relax, repeat total 3 times
||Same position and instructions as week #1, but place ball of problem
foot onto a 1” board, heel on ground
||Stand upright, knee straight, ball of problem foot on edge of 4”
or higher step
Slowly drop heel until feel stretch in calf and bottom of foot
Hold for count of 20, raise heel, repeat total 3 times
- Check to see if you have “flat feet” by standing in front
of a mirror that will show your ankles and feet clearly.
- If you see flattened arches and/or your inside ankle bones bending
inward, try purchasing over-the-counter supports that will fit inside
your shoes (the insole of many shoes, especially athletic varieties,
will remove easily for better fit of the support).
Enjoy your walks, and many more to come, by keeping yourself healthy.