Plantar fascia is term which we not hear every day, but it is important to know when it comes to foot health. Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition, present in more than 50% of the Americans. It is actually a damage of the plantar fascia, which is a thin ligament that links the heel to the front of your foot.
Its causes include weight gain and repetitive motion, and it is, therefore, common in pregnant women, athletes, and people who stand for a long time during the day.
The overall best thing you can do if you suffer from plantar fasciitis is to incorporate effective stretching to help loosen the tight muscles that aggravate the condition.
Seated exercises are both helpful and achievable by most people. Heathline offers the following exercises for seated stretching:
1. Roll your foot over a water bottle or similarly shaped object for one minute per foot.
2. Cross one leg over the other and pull upward on your big toe. Hold this position for 15 seconds, release and repeat three times, before alternating to the other foot.
3. Use a folded towel to mimic an exercise strap. Place the towel under the arch of your foot and gently pull upward so that your foot is stretched in front of you. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat three times.
Stretching your calves can also promote heel health. Simply extend your leg in a lunge-like movement and hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat three times per leg.
Stretching also works as a preventative for plantar fasciitis, but there are other considerations as well. WebMD suggests the following options:
Maintain a Healthy Weight
A healthy weight will ensure that you are not putting unnecessary pressure on your body and especially your feet.
Regular exercise will help your body stay at a healthy weight and properly stretch muscles and joints. This will reduce the chances of the ligaments in your feet becoming too tight.
Ensure Proper Support
Shoes are important. Proper support means that your feet are kept in a safe position. Going barefoot or wearing poorly constructed shoes puts added stress on your heels and feet.
Take it Easy
You should always try to take it easy on your feet. Allow your feet to rest, and alternate between activities so that your heels and feet are not being subjected to repetitive movement for an extended period.
Always take time to warm up your body before exercise or other activity. Jumping into excessive movement can lead to injury.
Foot health matters and if you suspect that you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, do not ignore it. Seek medical advice before changing your exercise or diet plan.