Foot exercises

Try and do the foot exercises below. Your feet will love you, and you will also learn to love your feet. This type of activities are also helpful in your battle against plantar fasciitis.

Towel curls

Scrunch your toes, with or without a towel. Just think about the position you leave them in normally. Straight and  locked in your shoes like prisoners. To paraphrase Marie Antoinette “Let them scrunch air” or treat them to a  scrunch festival on a towel! Give them some manoeuvering room.

Toe splays

Splay your toes: see if you can  splay them.

It was a bit of a battle for me to learn how to do this ( as, like you I’ve locked my feet into shoes for the last  years, so I alternate the splay with using my fingers to pull them apart ( you can do it en-mass as shown here or individually )

Big Toe stretch

Slowly stretch and pull the toe backward toward your shin. Go as far as is comfortable.

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Stretching for Plantar Fasciitis.

Whilst I talk about the various therapies and stretches for Plantar Fasciitis here, its worth tuning into the “length of stretch” debate.

If you look at Porter D, Barrill E, Oneacre K, May BD. The effects of duration and frequency of Achilles tendon stretching on dorsiflexion and outcome in painful heel syndrome: a randomized, blinded, control study. Foot Ankle Int 2002;23(7):619-624.

You’ll find two protocols coming neck and neck:

3 minute of stretching 3 x a day, or five sets, 20 seconds each, two times daily.

Either way, the take home message that a quick reluctant 10 second stretch when you can be bothered, isn’t enough. The study also determined that both sustained and intermittent Achilles tendon stretching exercises increase Achilles tendon flexibility. This increase in flexibility correlated with a decrease in pain!

This is an idea that features heavily in my fix your plantar fasciitis course. Its only £9.97 and has the most effective science backed drills.Never waste money on physical therapy agai

Plantar Fasciitis: cures and curses

A big welcome to your Plantar Fascia. An unknown part of your foot, that, so it seems, you don’t have to worry about.

It will do whatever the hell it does for years, then one morning, in some unlucky people,  it creates almost crippling heel pain.

First thing in the morning, upon getting out of bed,  you’ll be in so much pain that even hopping across your bedroom floor is something you’ll dread. Even contemplating  allowing your heel to touch the floor makes many want to throw up in their own mouths.

It’s not all bad. Just give it 5 or 10 minutes of hobbling around and you can begin to limp with a bit of dignity.  Welcome to the party you now have plantar fasciitis. It often self cures, in anything from 6 weeks to TWO YEARS.

There are  two positive sides to the condition:

1) You’ll meet lots of people online searching for a cure. So it’s like an agony based Tinder.

2) you’ll meet lots of dodgy therapists trying to part you from your money for quack cures. If you spot them, it’s fun to watch. If you cannot see a quack coming, its a bit expensive.

So some back ground, according to the BMJ plantar Fasciitis copy has the reputation of being “a trivial  condition”. Clinically “benign and self limiting”. So, if you are limping around your bedroom, screaming with pain,  wondering how you can get to the loo, don’t worry, its “benign and self limiting”.

Pull yourself together. Its not cancer

So who gets it?

  • Middle aged and older people. In some research I undertook, the age spread was thus
  • Athletes and active people

In my research, these were the activities being undertaken prior to Plantar fasciitis developing

  • Those with a reduced range of ankle dorsiflexion. I’ll publish my results soon, so do join the mailing list

According to the BMJ, the treatment options are

  1. Bio-mechanical treatments (orthotics, footwear modifications, taping)
  2. Stretching techniques including night splints
  3. “extracorporeal shock wave therapy
  4. cortisone
  5. surgery

From my research, pictured in the above graph, I found a wide variety of cures being attempted.

So, for the stretches check out

Heel To Heal: New Stretch Relieves Pain From Plantar Fasciitis

“sit with one leg crossed over the other, and stretch the arch of the foot by taking one hand and pulling the toes back toward the shin for a count of 10. The exercise must be repeated 10 times, and performed at least three times a day, including before taking the first step in the morning and before standing after a prolonged period of sitting”. Thanks to Benedict DiGiovanni and Nawoczenski,

IMG_3693

Most foot issues (not only plantar fasciitis, but the nasty achilles tendonitis)  benefit from a better range of ankle flexion and  pliable calf muscles. This daily stretch is also a must.IMG_3689

You’ll notice Im using a yoga block. It’s not ideal but gets you a start ( you could just use a step or a book, or a brick). If you have wealth beyond avarice, or £40, check out the
Navaris Wooden Slant Board – Calf Stretch Adjustable Incline Board Portable Anti-Slip for Pain Relief from Plantar Fasciitis Tendinitis and More

Most modern stretch commentators suggests you need to do this daily for 2 minutes.

Ice helps reduces pain, so freeze a bottle of water and roll  your foot on the iced bottle. One of my clients uses a cold bottle of beer!

Massage balls. If you can stand the discomfort, start rolling the base of your foot on one of those massage balls! Start gently.

Get a night splint, and wear it at night IF YOU CAN. This drove me mad so I clawed it off within a minute

IMG_3692

Lots of people can sleep with it , so as its about £11-£20 well worth experimenting with.
Night Splint Dorsal Soft Light for treatment of Plantar Fasciitis – (Black inner, 9 – up), Large

However, Crawford F, Thomson C. Interventions for treating plantar heel pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2003; (3) found limited evidence to support the use of night splints to treat plantar fasciitis sufferers who had experienced pain for greater than 6 months. They found that patients treated with custom made splints improved but those with premade or ‘off the shelf’ splints did not.

INSOLES: In my humble opinion,  buying and wearing flatter shoes often causes Plantar fasciitis . This is often combined with the whole “go barefoot” rebellion.  It’s based on the “well, its more natural, innit” concept and totally, totally fails to take into account the fact that you have worn heeled, and supported shoes for the last 20-30 years!

Buy these Superfeet insoles.

IMG_3688

Superfeet  are worth every penny!!   These really helped me. Ive put a link that will make me £££££’s in commission if you use it. Superfeet Green Insoles, E (UK 8-9.5/ Mens 9.5-11/ Womens 10.5-12).

To actually fix your plantar fasciitis you need my SSES system ( stretch it, smash it, educate it, strengthen it). If you simply stretch it, the trigger points get you, and a lack of strength drags you back into pain. Strength on its own, without educating your muscles and restoring an effective range of motion,  is also a low return strategy.

In this course, I’ll teach you these skills with a  mixture of video, photos, and written teaching resources to help you learn. For the first 100 people you’ll get my email address so any issues I’ll be there to help you. However, I’ll soon set up a free but private Facebook group to support you that way.

If you need help or training, do drop me an email Andrew@andrewstemler.com