6 Moves to Help Prevent Plantar Fasciitis

If the first thing you feel when you wake up in the morning and step out of bed is a shooting pain through the sole of your foot, you might be one of the 30 million Americans that will suffer from plantar fasciitis at some point in their lifetime. The pain is excruciating, but fortunately, there are several steps you can take to help ease the discomfort.

Though the name sounds official, plantar fasciitis is nothing more than inflammation of the tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. Though it is usually worst first thing in the morning, it can go away as the foot is stretched throughout the day; prolonged periods of inactivity can cause it to hurt again.

Plantar fasciitis is usually seen in runners, or people that are heavily active in long-distance running sports like Soccer. However, if you are overweight, wear shoes with incorrect arch support, or simply spend long hours standing up, you might be at an increased risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Also, this disease is most common in men and women between the ages of 40-60.

The best way to help alleviate the pain is to do everything you can to prevent it in the first place. Modify your running steps so that you land in the middle of your foot and don’t use your toes to pull your body forward. Instead, allow the natural momentum of your body to carry you forward. In addition, learn to relax your foot and relieve the tension and utilize stretching exercises like those mentioned below.

1. Calf Raises

One of the reasons why your muscles will tense up is because they’re either overworked or too weak to handle repetitive motion. By strengthening your calves, you’ll help your muscles learn to support the weight better as well as stretching out the tendons that will support your feet muscles.

To do proper calf raises, stand on your toes at the edge of a step with your feet dangling just off the back edge. Slowly lower your feet down below the step, maintaining total control through your leg and back. With your legs straight, bring your heel as low as it will safely go, then raise it back up to the starting position. Do three sets of ten reps once a day, and you should notice your calf muscles start to improve.