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Stretches for Plantar Fasciitis

Foot and leg stretches for plantar fasciitis must be performed regularly in order to have an effective recovery process. Not only does stretching relieve pain symptoms but it helps treat some of the underlying causes responsible for the development of plantar fasciitis as well.

When ligaments and muscles become short or tight it can lead either directly, or indirectly, to the development of plantar fasciitis. Issues stemming from the plantar ligament, calf muscles or Achilles tendon are particularly problematic.

If these ligaments, muscles and tendons can be lengthened and loosened through the implementation of stretches for plantar fasciitis the patient has a much greater chance of recovering. Stretching can help reduce or eliminate over-pronation of the feet and reduce or eliminate inflammation as well. Most treatments are best used in tandem with other methods as a combination of techniques usually has the highest rate of success when treating plantar fasciitis.

How to do the Stretches for Plantar Fasciitis

One benefit of using stretches for plantar fasciitis is that they can be done at home and do not require the use of equipment. For best results stretching should be consistently done twice a day, even when there are no active symptoms occurring. Once in the morning and once in the evening is ideal and the stretches can also be performed throughout the day as needed.
It isn’t required that all stretches be performed twice daily; time permitting they can be grouped by two’s and three’s and rotated over the course of the day. It’s important to perform the stretches on both the left and right side of the body even if pain is only being experienced in one foot.

In cases where pain is severe or the patient is sedentary it’s important to introduce the exercises slowly and with minimal repetitions. The patient can gradually work their way up to the recommended amount of exercise over time.

Foot Flex: This stretch is performed upon waking while the patient is still in bed. It stretches the plantar fascia and reduces or eliminates morning heel pain. It can be performed throughout the day as needed.

• Sit up and stretch your legs out in front of your body.
• Slowly point the toes down until you feel a light stretch in the calf muscle then flex your feet and point the toes toward the ceiling.
• Your legs should remain in contact with the bed at all times; the feet are bending at the ankles only.
• Repeat this movement 10 times. Rest 10 seconds. Repeat this cycle again up to 5 times.

Towel Flex: Perform this stretch in the morning and at night as well. You will need to fold a towel lengthwise, or you can use a belt or exercise band.

• Sit down with your legs extended out in front you.
• Straighten your knees.
• Wrap the belt around the ball of your right foot. Hold an end of the belt in each hand.
• Make sure you back remains straight as you pull on the belt. Your foot will flex and this may bring your heel slightly off the floor.
• Hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Repeat up to 5 or 6 times.
• Move the belt to your left leg and repeat.

Stair Stretch: Perform this exercise at least twice a day; more if you can.

• Stand the bottom stair or a low step.
• Let your heels dangle off the edge of the step.
• Slowly lower your heels. You don’t need to force this motion as your body weight will naturally stretch your tendons and muscles.
• Hold for 10 to 20 seconds. Rest for 5 seconds. Repeat up to 5 times.

Calf Stretch: Perform this activity twice daily and after any physical activity is done, including excessive standing.

• Face a blank wall and place your hands on it in line with your shoulders.
• Your feet should be shoulder width apart.
• Step forward with your right foot and bend that leg at your knee.
• Keep your other leg straight—it will be the leg that gets stretched.
• Press your heels into the floor and shift your weight to your front leg until you feel the calf muscle of the back leg being stretched.
• Hold for 10 to 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Repeat up to 5 times.
• Release the position, relax your legs, and repeat the stretch on the other side.

Quad Stretch: Perform this stretch as often as possible. The calf muscles, the muscles at the back of the hip and thigh and the Achilles tendon all benefit from this exercise. If you find yourself unbalanced you may use a chair for stability.

• Stand with your feet directly beneath your shoulders.
• Straighten your right leg out in front of your body.
• Raise the toes on your right foot toward the ceiling.
• Bend your left knee. Lean forward and place your hands on the thigh of your left leg.
• Push your hips behind you as if you were about to sit down. It’s perfectly acceptable for your body to lean forward.
• Deepen your position until you feel the stretch in your right leg.
• Hold for 10 to 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Repeat up to 4 times.
• Switch legs and repeat.

Performing these stretches habitually is required for good results when treating plantar fasciitis. These movements should be performed twice daily and even more if time permits. Warming up the feet and lower legs before getting out of bed in the morning will reduce or prevent morning heel pain and stretches for plantar fasciitis should generally reduce both the level of pain and inflammation that the patient is experiencing.

 

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Plantar Fasciitis Taping

 

Plantar fasciitis taping is an extremely effective method for treating and preventing inflammation and soreness in foot and heel while maintaining daily activity levels.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis Taping?


This method of treatment uses a specialized application of athletic tape to support the plantar ligament so that it is well supported and does not endure excessive stretching. A stable, well supported tendon is less likely to become, or remain, inflamed. Taping can used for either treatment or prevention of plantar fasciitis.

How Does Plantar Fasciitis Taping Treat the Condition?

Plantar fasciitis taping treats this condition through the following means:
• When the plantar ligament is properly supported pain and inflammation are significantly diminished.
• Taping generally allows patients to maintain their daily activity levels.
• Taping generally allows athletes to continue to train and compete in athletic events.
When used as at treatment option for plantar fasciitis, taping should be combined with other methods such as icing, elevating the feet after weight bearing activities, stretching and the use of NSAIDS to reduce inflammation. Taping the feet three times a week is generally sufficient for satisfactory results.

How Does Plantar Fasciitis Taping Prevent the Condition?

Taping can effectively prevent the onset of plantar fasciitis by creating the following advantages:
• Over-stretching of fascia tissues is prevented and this greatly reduces the risk of inflammation and plantar fasciitis from developing.
• Taping provides the same benefits through its support of biomechanics of the foot and ankle.
• Abnormal alignment causing injury or irritation of the plantar fascia may be entirely prevented through the use of plantar fasciitis taping.
Tape should be applied before undertaking training sessions or going to work for maximum prevention of injury or inflammation.

Does Everyone Respond Well to Plantar Fasciitis Taping?

Individuals respond differently to different treatments, but plantar fasciitis taping has a good record in both the treatment and prevention of this affliction. Positive response to any type of treatment often depends on the severity of the injury or level of inflammation.

This particular treatment was developed for use by athletes who were suffering from plantar fasciitis but who did not wish to skip training or competition, and this remains the most common use for it even today. It is frequently used as a preventative measure in athletes who have previously suffered from plantar fasciitis.

What is the Best Plantar Fasciitis Taping Method?

If you are interested in trying plantar fasciitis taping the best thing to do is to find an athletic trainer or physiotherapist experienced with the process and pay careful attention while they apply the tape. If this is not an option for you most pharmacies carry athletic tape and you can apply it yourself using the following method:
1. Apply the tape in strips along your arch so they cross in the centre of your foot. This will help to support your ligament.
2. Apply the tape around the bottom of your toes and along the side of your foot.
3. Apply more tape across your arch, from one side to the other, until your foot is covered.

Remember: Tape is best applied before you leave your house for work or right before you undertake intense physical activity. Be sure to remove the tape in the evening. As your condition improves you can apply tape minimally—two or three strips applied from the ball of your foot to the heel of your foot will likely suffice.

Risks Involved with Plantar Fasciitis Taping

Plantar fasciitis taping has few risks involved with it; however, there are several things to be aware of if you decide to try this treatment:

• Some of your skin may come off with the tape. This isn’t guaranteed to happen, but it could.
• If you do not remove the tape when you are at rest you risk developing skin irritations and/or atrophy of the ligament.
• Taping must be correctly applied to be effective.
• Excessively tight taping can constrict blood vessels and cause bruises to appear.
• Infection may result if skin is removed along with the tape.

By purchasing proper athletic strapping tape at the pharmacy or a sports store you can reduce the risks involved with this method of treatment. Tape should also only be applied to clean, dry skin. The most significant risk of plantar fasciitis taping however is developing a dependency on it as a result of using it too much, so keep an eye on your level of injury and recovery and start reducing usage as soon as it is safe to do so.

How do I know that Plantar Fasciitis Taping Will Help Me?

You will only know if this method is right for you by trying it. Having a professional show you how to do the initial taping is tremendously informative and will ensure that you aren’t judging this treatment on an inaccurate application technique. You can also try the technique on your own by purchasing athletic tape and following the directions.

If correctly applied the tape it should tighten a little when you stand, and bear in mind that while pain relief may be immediate it can also take a few sessions before you really notice any difference.
Plantar fasciitis taping is a great option not only for athletes but for busy people who do not wish to slow down their daily activities while undergoing treatment. It is also a great option for people who wish to prevent plantar fasciitis from fully developing or recurring once again.

 

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Plantar Fasciitis Surgery

 

 

Where there’s heel pain there’s also likely a case of plantar fasciitis: PF is one of the leading causes in the development of this type of discomfort. One of the first goals in treating this condition is to reduce the level of pain and inflammation being experienced by the patient. Rest, ice, modification of footwear, and anti-inflammatory medication along with the introduction of orthoses and specialized stretching programs resolves the pain and disability of plantar fasciitis in most people.

There are however, particularly advanced or difficult situations that do not show a positive response to front-line treatments, and if the pain and debilitation are severe enough then these cases become candidates for plantar fasciitis surgery.

What Happens During Plantar Fasciitis Surgery?


The standard surgical procedure in this instance is called ‘fascia release’ and it requires the plantar ligament to be cut in order to reduce excessive tension. Heel spurs commonly occur along with PF and any that are found will be removed during the procedure.

There a several new, much less invasive techniques that have become much more common and they include:

• Plantar fasciotomy (Endoscopic)
• Guided fasciotomy (Ultrasound)
• Coblation surgery, which is also referred to as the topaz technique

Most surgical treatments have both benefits and risks, but unfortunately, plantar fascia surgery tends to have more cons attached to it than pros, which is why it is often only used as a last resort. The problem with PF surgery is that is very invasive but gives only temporary results in many patients.
There are several conditions that must be met before plantar fasciitis surgery is even considered:

• Pain and disability must be chronic and severe.
• Non-invasive treatments must have been regularly applied for a minimum of twelve months without showing positive effects.
• Prescribed exercise and stretching programs must have been executed for several months without improvement.
• The candidate must be aware of all risks and possible side effects.
• The candidate must be aware of the low success rate of this type of surgery and the likelihood of the condition returning.

These are several very important reasons why plantar fasciitis surgery is performed only as a last resort after all other methods have failed:

• The success rate for plantar fasciitis surgery is low and the chances of it re-occurring post-surgery are high.
• The arch of the foot may be left flatter than before if the fascia is loosened excessively.
• Nerves damage may occur, leaving the patient with reduced sensation and a numb feeling in the foot.
• There is a risk of infection (as there is with any surgery).
• Recurring plantar fasciitis may demonstrate more severe symptoms than were present before the surgery took place.

One of the best ways to increase your success rate with plantar fasciitis surgery is to follow post-op recommendations and procedures. You may be required to wear an orthotic device, such as a brace, to support and protect the foot and heel during the recovery period. Rest will be mandatory and you will not be very mobile for approximately three to four weeks post-surgery. It may be several months before recovery is considered complete and you are able to fully return to your usual activity levels.

The amount of patients suffering from plantar fasciitis who undergo surgery as a treatment is very low—the rate is approximately 5%, and the only reason it is that high is that all other treatments have failed and these people are desperate for relief from their symptoms. While 70-80% of these patients experience immediate relief from pain after having planter fasciitis surgery, the majority of them will, unfortunately, have to deal with a reoccurrence of this condition somewhere in the future.

 

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Plantar Fasciitis Socks

 

 

Plantar fasciitis socks are not technically socks at all but an orthotic device used to keep the foot flexed while the patient is sleeping or at rest. A plantar fasciitis sock allows the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon to remain stretched for long periods of time, which reduces foot pain, particularly in the heel.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis frequently develops when the plantar fascia is excessively tight, irritated, and/or inflamed. The plantar fascia is under immense pressure as it is largely responsible for maintaining the arch of the foot and absorbing the force of impact during physical activities, including such everyday motions as walking. Aside from becoming inflamed the plantar fascia may develop miniscule fissures where the ligament and heel bone connect. Inflammation is responsible for the severe pain that can accompany PF, even when that pain is felt primarily in the heel. Tight calf muscles and a shortened Achilles tendon can also cause plantar fasciitis to develop as well.

How Do Plantar Fasciitis Socks Work?

Plantar fasciitis socks look like regular socks with just a few modifications. PF socks are made from a flexible yet constrictive material. An adjustable band wraps around the lower let so that the fit can be adjusted and there is both a ring at the front of the sock and a strap that protrudes from the toe. The strap is passed through the ring, ensuring that the foot does not relax but remains in 90 degree flexion to the lower leg.

This type of treatment allows for a continuous stretch of the ligaments and tendons in the feet and lower leg. It is highly recommended that patients wear it at night or while seated as it is not designed to work with weight-bearing activity. It is also possible to find socks that increase blood flow to affected areas and that keep the muscles and ligaments warm. This is accomplished through the use of special thermal fabrics.

How Do I Choose the Right Sock for Me?

When choosing plantar fasciitis socks it’s important to find a device that you comfortably wear and that will be sure to meet your needs. You can ask your doctor for a recommendation and/or do your own research online. Whatever you choose be sure your sock can be easily washed, as this will become very important over time.

Are Plantar Fasciitis Socks My Only Option for Treatment?

There are many treatments for plantar fasciitis; these particular socks are just one of the more popular means of treating the condition. A night splint can also be worn as it produces similar results. Many people prefer the socks however, as they are more comfortable to sleep in (the ‘splint’ actually resembles a rather large brace.)

Conclusion

Plantar fasciitis socks reduce pain symptoms while treating several of potential underlying conditions at the same time. Treatment of PF will be most effective when orthoses are used in combination with other non-invasive treatments, as wearing these socks for extended periods of time can eventually cause problems as the muscles of the foot and ankle will become weak and somewhat atrophied.
Life all treatments for this affliction plantar fasciitis socks are most effective when introduced soon after initial symptoms appear and when combined with a variety of treatment methods.

 

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Plantar Fasciitis Night Splints

 

When treating plantar fasciitis a combination of treatments that both provide immediate pain relief and address the underlying causes is generally most effective. Some methods may provide instant pain relief and reduced inflammation while other options treat the cause of condition but do not appear to affect pain or discomfort levels. Plantar fasciitis night splints are one of the rare treatments that do both.

What are Plantar Fasciitis Night Splints?


This particular type of orthosis is less of a splint and more of a brace that encases the foot and ankle and occasionally part of the lower leg as well. While the word ‘splint’ may be misleading the word ‘night’ is not; these particular devices were not designed for weight bearing activities and must be worn while sleeping or otherwise sitting down.

What Purpose do Night Splints Serve?


Night splints immobilize the foot and ankle in a slightly flexed position so that the ligaments of the foot and the plantar fascia can remain stretched for a long period of time. A short or very tight tendon, ligament, or fascia usually leads to the development of plantar fasciitis, and this tightness can easily occur due to standing for long periods of time on a regular basis. It can also be caused by physical activity. Plantar fasciitis night splints also stretch the muscles of the calf, which reduces the risk of hyper-pronation of the feet occurring which can make the condition worse.

Expected Outcome


The wearing of night splints addresses the underlying causes of plantar fasciitis while helping reduce pain and inflammation. Most patients who have used these orthosis overnight have reported a significant reduction of pain the following the day. This improvement is most notable in the minimal or altogether absent pain that usually plagues sufferers upon waking. Plantar fasciitis night splints are generally viewed as an excellent means of treating this condition.

 Are Night Splints Right For You?

Weighing the pros and cons of plantar fasciitis night splints will make it much easier to decide if they are something you would like to try.

Pros:

• The plantar fascia and foot ligaments remain well stretched for long periods of time, which relieves pain and inflammation while treating the underlying issues as well.
• There is a secondary stretching of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon, which reduces pressure on the plantar tendon and reduces the risk of over-pronation of the foot.
• The patient’s feet and ankles are properly aligned for long periods of time.
• They are effective in treating plantar fasciitis and related symptoms.
• They are used in early treatment for pain and at later stages to enforce proper alignment of relevant tendons, muscles and bones.
• Patients generally experience a significant reduction in heel pain, which is markedly noticeable upon waking.

Cons:

• Night splints can only be used at rest; they cannot be worn during active parts of the day.
• They can be uncomfortable to wear while sleeping.
• Even casual mobility such as getting a drink of water is not recommended.
• There is no scientific evidence to support the use night splints for the purposes of treating plantar fasciitis.
• Some doctors believe that night splints aggravate symptoms and make PF worse over the long term.
• Night splints are priced at 60-80 dollars each.
If you still aren’t sure if plantar fasciitis night splints are right for you discuss it with your doctor. Some pharmacies and medical supply stores also offer rental services for orthoses, if so this may be a good way to test their effectiveness in treating your condition before you invest in a purchase.

 

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