Plantar Fasciitis

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…

Self-Massage:

  • 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

Towel Exercise:

  • 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 the foot.
  • Keep progressing until all of the towel has been “scooted” and outside edge of foot is along the other edge of towel.

Stabilization Exercise:

  • 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 ball
  • 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!):

Week #1: 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
Week #2: Same position and instructions as week #1, but place ball of problem foot onto a 1” board, heel on ground
Week #3+: 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

Fallen Arches:

  • 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.

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New Horizons Physical Therapy

(406) 363-2570 Fax (406) 363-7214

120 S. Fifth Street, Suite 102
Hamilton, MT 59840