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Gait Retraining for Plantar Fasciitis Relief

Gait Retraining for Plantar Fasciitis Relief

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition characterized by excessive strain on the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. This strain often leads to pain and discomfort primarily felt on the inner side of the heel. The intensity of the pain tends to increase with activities like walking or running, which place additional stress on the affected area. Plantar fasciitis is typically caused by repetitive overuse or poor biomechanics, and is a prevalent condition among athletes, runners, and individuals who spend long hours on their feet. Proper rest, stretching exercises, and supportive footwear are commonly recommended to alleviate symptoms and promote healing.

A recent study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy has revealed that gait retraining can be highly effective in alleviating foot load and reducing the pain associated with plantar fasciitis. The study involved participants who were diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and underwent an academically designed program specifically targeted towards this condition, with the guidance of physical therapists. The results showed a significant improvement in gait and a noticeable reduction in pain levels for the participants. This finding highlights the valuable role that proper gait retraining can play in managing plantar fasciitis and enhancing overall foot health.


If you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis pain, there is a proven method to help alleviate it – focusing on strengthening the muscles that support your arch. Seeking guidance from a physical therapist is highly beneficial as they can design a personalized exercise program that targets the specific muscles involved in plantar fasciitis. By incorporating calf and foot exercises into your routine, you can effectively build strength and find relief from the discomfort caused by this condition.

Start with a straightforward exercise called seated heel raise that targets soleus muscle. Studies have demonstrated how this movement helps strengthen and increase endurance of plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and other lower limb muscles.

Your physical therapist may suggest gait retraining as another strategy to alleviate foot load during walking and running, increasing speed while shortening time taken to walk or run. This can increase speed while decreasing travel time.


Plantar fasciitis is a common overuse injury, often leading to heel pain. While anyone is susceptible, runners and those who spend long periods on their feet are at greater risk.

Stretching can be an effective treatment option for heel pain, but it must be administered correctly in order to be effective. Improper stretching may make your discomfort worse and cause further tissue damage – potentially worsening it even further!

One of the best stretches for plantar fasciitis is the gastrocnemius stretch, which targets your back leg’s calf muscle. To perform this exercise, place both hands against a wall for support while stretching your leg back.

This stretch loosens your soleus muscle in your lower calf, enhancing flexibility and decreasing heel pain. However, due to its potentially aggressive effects on plantar fascia, it should only be done after several weeks of other more gentle exercises have been completed.


Gait retraining can be an effective way for runners and walkers alike to reduce plantar fasciitis symptoms while decreasing your risk of injuries like tibial stress fractures. Physical therapists will assess how you run and provide recommendations to optimize your gait cycle: when, how, and the time between each foot strike.

Treatment typically entails retraining your gait in ways that reduce vertical force impact (how much pressure is placed on the heels and arch). It also increases cadence and posture.

Ice therapy, which constricts blood vessels to reduce pain and inflammation. Compression socks may provide additional support by decreasing pressure on your arch and plantar fascia; light to high compression levels are available at many shoe stores or online retailers.


Biomechanics provides an insightful way of gaining a better understanding of your body’s movements. It investigates how muscles, tendons, bones and joints come together to produce movement in your body.

Biomechanics teaches us how to move safely and effectively, in order to prevent injuries and minimize pain. Furthermore, this science can be utilized for research into sports equipment as well as helping those recover from injury or disease.

Physical therapists use biomechanics techniques to identify any problems with movement patterns that might lead to pain, such as plantar fasciitis. Once identified, they use various methods to improve them so you don’t sustain further injuries and can resume daily activities without delay.


You might also like to read:

Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis-Related Nerve Entrapment
Stress Management and Plantar Fasciitis

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