Suffer from plantar fasciitis? These stretches can help

Posted by Dennis Mundt on

Learn more about Shop TODAY.Those who have experienced plantar fasciitis - an inflammation of the ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot - know how debilitating the stabbing pain can be, keeping you from participating in your favorite activities.

Dr. Doug Tumen, a board-certified podiatrist and author of "Ask the Foot Doctor," says that plantar fasciitis has recently reached epidemic proportions.

"Despite being a common sports injury that has affected professional athletes such as Eli and Peyton Manning, it now appears that no one is immune to the pain of plantar fasciitis," he adds.

Plantar fasciitis has been a problem for me as a fitness professional and a recreational tennis player.

What does it feel like to have plantar fasciitis?

"Plantar fasciitis usually begins with pain on the bottom of the foot, near the heel bone," says Tumen, who adds that the pain is most commonly felt when getting out of bed in the morning or after sitting for a long time and then starting to walk.

According to Tumen, the plantar fascia is a band of supportive tissue on the bottom of the foot that extends from the heel bone to the forefoot and supports four layers of muscles.

"Usually, the pain starts right where the plantar fascia connects to the heel bone," he says.

While there is no single cause for plantar fasciitis, we do know that certain factors can aggravate the condition.

What can you do to relieve plantar fasciitis pain? Fortunately, most cases of plantar fasciitis will heal on their own with rest and icing.

Supportive taping and strapping can help prevent the plantar fasciitis from getting worse, and orthotics can be especially useful to wear at night to keep the foot in a flexed position and reduce pain in the morning.

Consider cross-training or doing other activities that don't aggravate the plantar fasciitis if activity causes pain.

"Physical therapy, such as a plantar fascial night splint, strappings, orthotics, and other forms of physical therapy," he adds.

"There are a variety of causes of foot pain, including stress fractures, plantar fascial tears, nerve impingements, and bursitis," he advises.

What is the best way to treat plantar fasciitis?

"Fortunately, most cases of plantar fasciitis can be treated conservatively by your foot care specialist," Tumen says.

Radial pulse therapy and extracorporeal shockwave therapy are two newer treatments for painful plantar fasciitis that are noninvasive and state-of-the-art.

Anyone who has experienced the agony of plantar fasciitis wishes they could go back in time and avoid it.

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These stretches may be beneficial." at

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