Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis (2)

Thursday, 25 August 2016 11:15

Foot Exercises for Strong Feet

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5 Foot Exercises to Strengthen the Feet

Even the finest athletes forget the importance of exercising the feet. However, the fact is that when your feet are weak, the rest of your body will need to compensate. In fact, those with weaker feet are near guaranteed to experience back pain as they age.

To support your body and save yourself from injury, here are 5 foot exercises to keep your feet in their finest form:

1. Exercise Barefoot

The first step to stronger feet is to train them to support you without the help of fancy footwear. The greatest advantage to going barefoot is, of course, freeing your feet to utilize their full range of motion.

You can begin by simply walking barefoot around the house. Then, try walking around on your tip toes, balancing yourself only on the balls of your feet. Repeat sets of heel lifts, raising yourself up and down on the balls of your feet, while doing your best to maintain balance. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, slowly increase the repetitions and duration, stopping before your feet become too sore.

The balance challenge is key to building strength and stability in your feet.

2. Run on the Beach

More specifically, run on the sand, or any similarly soft surface. The advantage of sand is that it shifts and responds to the force of your weight, improving your feet’s joint articulation while increasing strength and range of motion. Running on softer surfaces prevents repetitive trauma to the feet, reducing the likelihood of injury.

3. Resistance Foot Exercises

Sit down with your legs extended straight on the floor. Secure a flat resistance band to a sturdy post, and slip your foot underneath just past the toes. With the band firmly attached, try to extend the toes away from the post and towards your shin. Repeat sets by flexing and extending your feet. As your feet grow stronger, move your body farther back to create greater resistance, increasing the number of repetitions as you go.

4. BOSU Ball Balance

Exercising atop a BOSU ball is the perfect challenge to perfect your balance. The BOSU ball has an extremely firm dome, adding resistance against your feet as you force yourself to balance at an angle. Stand on the side of the dome, so that your toes are angled higher than your heels. From this position, perform sets of squats and/or jumps. For an extra challenge, try balancing on one leg, shifting your weight from leg to leg.

5. Plantar Stretch

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot injury that can be prevented with proper stretching. Seat yourself in a chair barefoot, crossing one leg so that your ankle is resting atop the opposite thigh. From this position, stretch the plantar fascia by grasping the toes and pulling them back towards your knee. Perform a set of 10 stretches on each foot, and repeat 3 times a day. Research has shown that patients suffering from plantar fasciitis had a 77% likelihood of resuming full activity when they performed this stretch.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Vikki and Dr. Connie

Don’t wait until an injury occurs to prioritize your foot health. Schedule a consultation with skilled podiatrists Dr. Vikki and Dr. Connie today. For all of your podiatric needs, contact the professional and caring staff at the Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center.

Dealing with heel pain can be a real pain in the foot, and unfortunately it’s not uncommon. Affecting many, is a condition called plantar fasciitis, where the tissue existing on the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed and causes sharp, stabbing heel pain. Typically, this pain is strongest when you initially step out of bed in the morning. Plantar fasciitis treatment may be the best solution to handle your foot pain, but it pays off to have your Long Beach podiatrist review your case once pain becomes apparent.

Who’s Most Commonly Affected?

From exercise to work, to our daily activities, we are on-the-go and on our feet. For some, the increased amount of pressure to the plantar fascia tissue can create pain, damage or torn ligaments. Most commonly affected are people who are:

  • Overweight
  • Runners
  • Pregnant
  • On their feet constantly at work

How in the Heel Am I to Deal?

Undealt with, it’s possible that plantar fasciitis can eventually alter the way you walk. It can also lead to surgery. However, the good news is that most times it can be treated with conservative methods. Here’s a look at the top 4 steps you can take to help heal the heel pain:

Healing Steps:
  • Apply Ice: Several times a day you can ice your feet to decrease the inflammation and reduce the pain.
  • Evaluate Your Shoe Choice: Consider the possibility that your shoe selection may not be providing adequate support. By using proper footwear and/or using inserts/custom orthotics, heel pain can be relieved.
  • Stretches: Instructed stretches for your Achilles heel and plantar fascia  exercises can work to strengthen leg muscles and diminish the pain.
  • Visit a Doctor: Often, conservative methods tend to lead to recovery, however if pain persists you should visit a doctor. After an examination, your doctor will evaluate your initial condition and review your options. Treatments may involve medications, various therapies, and in some cases, surgical procedures.

Healed Heels and Happy Feet

With all the hustle and bustle of life, no one wants plantar fasciitis to cross their path. But if you are dealing with this heel pain or discomfort, the dedicated doctors and staff at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center can help. We see surgery as a last resort and strive to keep feet happy and healthy with educated assessments and preventative care methods. Contact our office today and voice any of your questions or concerns, or schedule an appointment with our podiatrists in Long Beach.

[Photo Credit: Laia Solanellas]

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