Plantar fasciitis is a foot disease with inflammation on the tissue band connecting your toes to your heel. The most obvious symptoms of plantar fasciitis often include numbness, soreness, and severe pain in the arch of your feet. It is often a chronic condition and requires regular symptom management.
Some effective ways to manage and reduce plantar fasciitis episodes include lifestyle modifications, using foot cream and pain relief cream, building a customized diet, wearing proper socks and footwear, and exercising. This article will share simple foot exercises you can do at home to prevent plantar fasciitis episodes.
Related Article: The Best Diet for Plantar Fasciitis Patients
1. Plantar Fascia Foot Roll
What you need: a special foam roll or a rolled-up yoga mat. You can also use a hard water bottle.
A foot roll is one of the most effective exercises for plantar fasciitis management. This is a simple workout you can do at any time in your home or office, and it doesn't require any special gym equipment.
To do a plantar fascia foot roll, start with one foot with your heel on top of a foam roll or a rolled-up yoga mat. It's been to keep your socks on so your foot doesn't stick to the surface due to heat, sweat, and friction. It also protects the bottom of your feet from scratches and rubs.
Slowly roll your foot backward by lowering the toes and ensure the roll touches everything between the heel and the balls of your feet. Then go in the opposite direction and slowly roll your foot from the balls of your feet back to the heel.
Do this three times on each foot and at least twice a day to break down scar tissues left on the inflamed plantar fascia.
2. Plantar Fascia Stretch
What you need: None
Plantar fascia stretches are another simple foot exercise you can do almost anywhere to reduce foot tissue inflammation. It is also effective to relieve ongoing pain.
To do a plantar fascia stretch, sit comfortably on a firm surface with decent back support. Lift your foot and bend the leg 90 degrees. Place the heel on the other knee. You're ready to begin.
Put your hand on your toes and gently stretch your foot to a full stretch. You should feel the pulling in the arch of your foot. Hold that position for 30 seconds, then slowly return to the starting position. Doing this three times on each foot in the morning can help prevent arch pain during the day.
Related Article: Pain in the Heel: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
3. Unilateral Balance Challenge
What you need: a soft pillow or cushion
Unilateral balance challenges is a simple foot exercise to relieve pain in the arch of your foot. All you need is a somewhat soft surface so that when you try to balance, you apply gentle, even force to your arch, loosening and stretching your plantar fascia.
Step one foot onto the surface. Place your hands behind your waist to help with balancing. Center your core and slowly lift one leg until your foot is mid-air. Tighten your abdomen and the standing leg to maintain balance. Make sure you feel the gentle pressure on the bottom of your foot. Maintain for 30 seconds and switch feet. Do this twice a day with three repetitions for each workout.
4. Towel Crunches
What you need: a towel large enough to put both feet on
Towel crunches are a great post-workout exercise for muscle relaxation. It's also very helpful for anyone who is always on their feet at work.
Place a towel large enough for both of your feet on the floor to do towel crunches. Avoid rough surfaces so you don't scratch off scrape yourself because plantar fasciitis makes your feet more tender and prone to injuries.
Sit on a flat surface and bend your knees 90 degrees. Point your feet down and lift your heels off the floor. Use your toes to scrunch the towel to bring it closer to you. Pay attention to moving only the knees, legs, or ankles. Repeat for three minutes.
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5. Pick Up Marbles with your Toes
What you need: standard-sized marbles and a plastic bowl or cup.
Looking for a light-hearted plantar fasciitis foot exercise? Try this little marble challenge! You must pick up some marbles from the ground with your toes, then place them in a container nearby. Depending on how far you place the container, this exercise helps relax and activate your plantar fascia and your legs, knees, and calves. Try to pick up 10 to 15 marbles with each foot. You can do this after work or before going to sleep.
6. Soleus Calf Stretch
What you need: a nonslippery floor and a straight wall
Soleus calf stretch can reduce plantar fasciitis foot pain by stretching the your arch and ankles. Start by standing up straight and facing the wall. Place both hands forward on the wall at shoulder height. Move one foot back a full step. Lean forward and bend both knees slightly until you feel a gentle stretch near the ankle on the back of the leg. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch to the other leg. Repeat three times, once or twice a day.