Plantar fasciitis - it might not sound as familiar as some other medical conditions, but you might be suffering from it without even realizing it. In 2014, the Palo Alto Medical Association reported that around 50% of Americans will suffer from heel pain at some point in their life. Most of these cases can be traced back to something called "plantar fasciitis." Luckily for us, this painful foot condition is easier to treat than it is to pronounce.
The plantar fascia is a ligament that spans the bottom of your foot, providing support to your arch and other muscles. There are a number of factors responsible for damaging this thick ligament: bad shoes, too much physical exertion, excessive weight gain, and even standing for too long. Sometimes, plantar fasciitis is simply outside of our control. Over the course of our lives, we all develop a certain level of calcification in our heel muscles that can lead to pain and discomfort.
So, what can be done to prevent this condition? Or, if you already suffer from it, how can you alleviate the pain? There are all kinds of ways we can take better care of our feet and prevent plantar fasciitis from slowing us down. Plus, those who live with plantar fasciitis have figured out some great exercises and stretches that can reduce up to 90% of the pain! Check out the images below to learn more.
If you find yourself experiencing sharp pain in your heels, chances are that you have plantar fasciitis. The pains associated with this condition tend to pop up when you first get out of bed in the morning or when you begin working out. "The pain will feel like a nail is stuck in your heel," says YouTuber and personal trainer Sam Rosenstein.
Here are four exercises proven to relieve pain associated with plantar fasciitis:
1. Sit down and roll your foot over a water bottle or small ball. Do this for one minute on each foot.
2. Rest one leg across the other and grasp your big toe. Pull upwards and hold it there for 15 seconds. Repeat this three times, then switch to your other foot.
3. Take an exercise strap (or a hand towel) and wrap it around the arch of your foot. Pull back towards your body so that your foot stretches out. Repeat three times for each foot.
4. Your calves are linked to the health of your heels, so it's important to keep them properly stretched as well. Lunge forward on one of your legs for about 30 seconds and repeat three times. Then, do the same for your other leg.
While those exercises will help you manage the pain associated with plantar fasciitis, the following tips and tricks are vital in preventing this condition:
1. Make sure you eat a well-balanced diet. Excessive weight gain can place too much stress on the muscles and ligaments in your feet and lead to serious issues later in life.
2. Frequent exercise will help you maintain a healthy weight and stretch your muscles.
3. Make sure your shoes are offering the right support.
Walking around barefoot or wearing cheap shoes, like flip-flops, can place an unhealthy amount of pressure on your feet.
4. Remember to take time to rest. While you don't want to spend too much time off your feet, it's important to give them a chance to recover after working out.
5. Always remember to warm up. The muscles in your body need time to get warm before any amount of physical activity, so don't be afraid to start slow if you are new to stretching or working out.
Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help you take care of your feet for many years to come. After all, they support us every day, so it only makes sense that we should take care of them in return!
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H/T: Remedy Daily