Plantar Fasciitis Rehab – Stretches & Orthotics
Check out our favorite stretches and orthotics to help recover from plantar fasciitis!
There are 3 very important stretches to perform throughout the rehab and prehab cycles to combat plantar fasciitis. Due to the effects that decreased dorsiflexion (toes to nose) has on the plantar fascia, the first two are geared towards stretching the calf muscles to allow for more eccentric movement in these muscles.
To stretch the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles (collectively the calf), you should:
1. Perform a split leg lunge near a wall or table that you can stand near
2. While keeping your back leg straight and heel on the ground, lean forward & put pressure through your planted heel to stretch the gastroc
3. To stretch the soleus, perform the same exercise but with a bent back knee to target this muscle
The third stretch is meant for your Tibialis Anterior which is responsible for dorsiflexion & inversion (pointing foot inward) of the ankle. To stretch this muscle you should:
1. Sit down and cross your target leg on top of your healthy leg
2. Push down on your foot so that it goes down and out (plantarflexion & eversion)
3. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds at a time
Another intervention that is often implemented in the early phases of rehab for plantar fasciitis is the use of orthotics. This is beneficial for those whose arches may have collapsed or who have high arches. By placing support underneath the mid portion of the foot, you are alleviating excessive force production traveling through the plantar fascia. However, this is only meant for the short term and should not be used as a long term intervention for this condition!
Featured Image By: Tread Labs