Have you experienced sharp pain on the bottom of your foot or your heel with your first few steps in the morning? I have, and I was experiencing acute plantar fasciitis the following morning after track practice. Most of my patients with plantar fasciitis wake up in the morning with similar symptoms and don’t know that physical therapy is an alternative to get to the source of the issue. Most of my patients are either present with weak hips, diabetes, overweight, wear improper shoes, belly sleepers, or it’s just how they walk. You can refer to a previous blog titled “What type of shoes are best for my feet?” on our website to review proper footwear. We can treat your symptoms with manual therapy, strengthening exercises, stretches, dry needling, and modalities. Night splints can also help with reducing excessive ankle plantarflexion throughout the night. Below are some basic exercises that can help manage your symptoms.
- Standing calf stretch – Place your foot on a wedge or place your toes on a step. Keep your heel on the ground, keep your knee extended, and lean forward.
- Standing soleus stretch – Your soleus sits behind your calf muscle and can still be a source of some pain. Find a wedge or place your toes on a step. Keep your heel on the ground, keep your knee flexed, and lean forward.
- Eccentric calf raises – Stand on the edge of a step with the ball of both feet in contact with the step. Slowly lower your heels towards the ground then you should feel a stretch in your calves. When you feel that calf stretch then quickly perform a calf raise.
- Ice bottle roll – Place a bottle of water in the freezer for 12-24 hours or until the bottle is frozen. Place the bottle on the floor and roll the arch of your foot on the bottle to ease any acute inflammation.
I hope you find this helpful! Feel free to contact us to set up an appointment!
Shakyra Cooper, PT, DPT, Cert DN