Take Care When Transitioning To Plantar Fasciitis Exercises As You Recover

Plantar fasciitis exercise to relieve heel pain.

Exercise to relieve plantar fasciitis pain. New York Times. Click image for link to full article.

Best defense against sports injuries is your mind.In FitOldDog’s treatment for plantar fasciitis, step five (excuse the pun) of the five-step process includes selected plantar fasciitis exercises (demonstrated in the associated videos) to strengthen the arch support system (bones, tendons, ligaments, blood-supply and myoneurofascia).

A recent study, reported in the New York Times (kindly sent to FitOldDog by his cycling and science buddy, Rory), indicates that one can gain relief from the heel pain with a series of single leg calf raises (see image and linked article, above). The benefits of this exercise were clear, and superior to those complete by a control group, doing a series of stretches. We concur with this observation, with respect to stretching the calves. In my second case of plantar fasciitis, I received considerable relief from the heel pain by doing gentle hamstring stretches, especially before putting weight on my feet in the morning (well, the left foot).

FitOldDog's e-book Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

First edition available, with encouraging reviews on Amazon, and much improved second edition in the works (don’t forget the associated videos). Click image for link to landing page.

It is true that appropriate exercise can help, if applied correctly, BUT

BEWAREif you put excessive strain on your ‘arch support system,’ too soon, and single calf raises create considerable strain, and you have severely weakened arches, you can do more harm than good.

You have to transition carefully through the process laid out in our book (second edition on the way), and proceed to such exercises when your arches are really ready. I’ve just fixed my second case of plantar fasciitis, using our method, which led me to the assistance of an Osteopath to eliminate the proximate cause of my issue, a displaced pelvis. Until then I was going nowhere!

My first bout of plantar fasciitis, years ago, involved over-training, and the second, and much more recent, one resulted indirectly from a bike wreck in 2013.

No one really understands plantar fasciitis, as there is no general consensus on the best treatment.

In fact, there is no best treatment, there are several, if not many, best treatments, but appropriate exercise is clearly a key to full recovery.

That said, exercise of the arch support system is critical for full recovery.

Furthermore, it is not an inflammatory condition, and would be more correctly named plantar fasciosis (even the involvement of fascia is a matter for debate). But I think Rebecca, my co-author, and I are finally getting a handle on this thing.

Video by Rebecca explaining the use of Yoga Toes

Rebecca explains how to use Yoga Toes to improve foot mechanics. Click image for video link.

I’m back in Ironman training after only about six weeks from my most recent bout of excruciating morning heel pain. The first time it laid me up from running for ages.

I still have to take care to be sure it’s completely fixed, which is also an important judgement call.

When it comes to plantar fasciitis exercises, one treatment does not fit all, as there is a range of underlying biomechanical causes (of which I’ve personally experienced two), each needing to be addressed in it’s own unique way. For Rebecca it was entirely different, dance combined with tight joints, and in the case of Rosemary the cause was collapsed arches (flat feet).

Oh! Yes! Don’t forget your Yoga Toes.

Happy Trails.


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.