One crucial aspect that is commonly overlooked when it comes to rehabilitating plantar fasciitis is strengthening exercises. While it may not receive as much attention, the significance of incorporating strength training into your recovery process cannot be emphasized enough. By focusing on strengthening the muscles in your feet, you can ensure that they remain flexible, robust, and well-balanced, enabling them to move with optimal speed and efficiency.
Research has shown that focusing on the strengthening of small intrinsic foot muscles, which are not directly connected to the legs, can be beneficial in reducing the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. By actively engaging these muscles, they are able to support the passive structures of the foot, helping to absorb and recycle mechanical energy while walking or running. This can effectively contribute to the management and relief of plantar fasciitis symptoms.
Strengthening the Foot Core
In the process of rehabilitating Plantar Fasciitis, it is crucial to prioritize strengthening the foot core. While athletes typically concentrate on strengthening larger muscle groups like the legs and thighs, it is essential not to overlook the smaller intrinsic foot muscles responsible for controlling the arch shape and absorbing shock. These intrinsic foot muscles play a fundamental role in addressing Plantar Fasciitis and should receive equal attention during rehab. By incorporating exercises that target the foot core, athletes can effectively enhance their overall foot stability and resilience.
When these foot core muscles weaken, other areas of the body compensate – leading to stress and strain on feet as well as increased risk of injury.
Toe yoga is a simple yet effective foot core strengthening exercise, activating intrinsic foot muscles to improve balance and increase endurance for walking, running, or standing.
Research also indicates that foot core strengthening may be effective at preventing and treating Plantar Fasciitis. One study concluded that patients performing high-load strength training exercises had improved outcomes over those performing stretching only exercises for this condition – this makes sense since your foot core serves to stabilize loads from lower legs onto feet while walking or running.
Test Your Foot Core Strength
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, a ligament-like band on the bottom of your foot which supports and transmits loads as you walk. Pain often originates at either heel or arch and usually subsides after stopping to walk; however, it may reoccur.
Factors that put unnecessary strain on the plantar fascia include age, flat or high arches, obesity or conditions that increase body weight, altered gait patterns like rolling your feet one way or the other (see S). Occupations like factory workers and teachers that involve prolonged standing, walking, or handwork are at greater risk of plantar fasciitis than others.
An easy way to assess your foot core strength can be performed while sitting comfortably on a chair with both feet flat on the ground. Simply pull your big toe toward your heel without flexing any toes; this exercise is known as foot doming and can strengthen intrinsic foot muscles significantly.
Exercises to Strengthen Your Foot Core
As you hit the weight room or mats to strengthen your upper body, lower body, and core muscles, your feet also require strengthening exercises. Foot strengthening exercises may prevent injuries like plantar fasciitis and metatarsalgia to ensure you train without injury.
Studies have demonstrated that foot core muscles – similar to your abdominal core muscles – play a crucial role in providing the stability needed for running, much as your abdominal core does for supporting spine, pelvis and upper limbs. Therefore, ideal foot core strengthening exercise programs offer low-load activities which teach users how to activate and use their feet correctly.
Traditional foot strengthening exercises usually include curling your toes to pull a towel towards you or picking up marbles with them, which may be effective; however, such exercises tend to ignore smaller, less obvious intrinsic muscles in your feet that could also play an integral part in supporting both feet and legs.
Plantar fasciitis, one of the primary causes of heel pain in adults, occurs when the plantar fascia–which connects your heel bone to your toes–becomes damaged or inflamed. It often develops with age, especially if engaging in activities that place additional stress on your arches such as running and dancing.
Plantar fasciitis’ primary symptom is heel pain. This discomfort often worsens with each step out of bed in the morning or after long periods spent sitting or resting.
People suffering from plantar fasciitis have numerous treatment options available to them. Physical therapists may prescribe medications like dexamethasone or iontophoresis to relieve discomfort and promote healing, or utilize taping techniques or custom orthotics designed to decrease abnormal foot pronation while increasing arch support.
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