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What is plantar fasciitis and why does it occur?

Plantar fasciitis is a term that refers to the pain andinflammation of plantar fascia, which is a thick tissue that connects the heelbone and the toes. This condition is caused by a small tear in the fascia, orirritation or inflammation of the same part, which occurs due to repetitive stretchingand tearing. It results in stabbing pain, which is usually present with thefirst steps once the person gets up in the morning, while it tends to decreaseas the foot limbers up. However, it tends to occur again when a person stands for along time, for example. Those who are particularly at risk of suffering fromplantar fasciitis are overweight people, pregnant women, as well as the oneswho do not wear adequately supported shoes. Runners and athletes are also inthis risk group. Besides medications and physical therapy, this condition mightsometimes require surgery, even though it does not seem to be serious.

Stretching exercises that might help with plantar fasciitis

Since majority of people who suffer from this condition haveeither tight Achilles tendons or decreased flexibility, to speed up the healingprocess it is important for them to perform regular stretching. There areseveral suggestions in which way it can be done, but it is best to combine allof them.

Towel stretch requires a person to be in a sitting position withlegs stretched in front of them and a towel looped around the injuredfoot. The towel needs to be pulled towards and the body needs to remainstraight. It is necessary to repeat this exercise ten times and to hold theposition for not more than 30 seconds.Calf and Achilles stretch requires placing the hands on thewall in the height of the chest. The injured heel needs to be moved back andthe foot on the floor, while the other leg should be moved forward. The person thenleans towards the wall and stretches the calf.Stair stretch is done while standing on a step, but on theballs of the feet, and it is necessary to hold something because of the balance(either wall or rail, for example). The injured heel needs to be loweredslowly, in order to stretch the arch of the foot in question.Frozen can roll is an exercise that consists of rolling theinjured foot back and forth over a frozen can. This exercise does not only helpin stretching from the tip of the toes to the heal, but it is also coldtherapy for the injured heel.

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