By: Ashley Gainer
Have you ever spent a long, active day in a new pair of shoes and felt, by the end of the day, like there was a big, sore lump on the sole of your foot? Or maybe you woke up one morning and felt a sharp pain on the bottom of your heel, but it went away after walking around for a few minutes. If so, you are not alone! These are two of the common manifestations of plantar fasciitis, a problem that afflicts an estimated 2 million Americans every year.
Plantar fasciitis, the medical term for inflammation of the plantar fascia (the ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel the toes), is something that about 10% of people face at some point, and the good news is that for most of us, keeping plantar fasciitis away is a simple task. Orthotic inserts help a great number of people by supporting the arch and reducing strain, and there are also a few stretches you can do first thing in the morning that will make the plantar fascia more limber and strengthen the muscles in the arch of the foot – things that will reduce the strain that leads to plantar fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis Stretches
Do any or all of these while sitting up, feet hanging over the side of the bed. Note: These stretches, if done properly, should not create pain. Use your best judgment and talk to your doctor if any of these is truly painful.
1. Flex each foot ten times.
2. Grab the big toe and stretch it up and back toward the ankle, holding the stretch for at least 15 seconds. Repeat 2-4 times on each side.
3. Fold a towel in half, and place the ball of your foot in the fold. Hold the two ends of the towel, straighten your leg in front of you, and pull toward you, using the towel like a resistance band to stretch the bottom of the foot.
Ashley Gainer is one of the millions of people who have dealt with plantar fasciitis pain, a group that also includes several members of her family. After years of dealing with foot pain of varying causes and degrees, the family founded InsolesandBeyond.com, an online retailer of orthotic shoe inserts. Whether you need insoles for plantar fasciitis, arch supports for high or low arches, or insoles for running shoes, boots, dress shoes, or everyday footwear, you can find relief at InsolesandBeyond.com.
*Photo Credit: http://pixabay.com/en/girl-at-night-running-cloud-162474/*