Combating Plantar Fasciitis

  1. Rest

  This is an obvious one. If you are certain that a specific activity is creating the pain cease it and rest. For runners, this might mean taking a few days off to see if the pain subsides.  

  1. Recover

  Scour your garage or basement for a tennis ball. Simply roll the tennis ball against the floor, beneath the surface of your foot throughout the day. Roll during your workday, while in class, or while sitting around the house. Once the plantar fascia begins to soften up, search for a lacrosse ball, and glide your foot atop it throughout the day. You might also want to roll a golf ball in a tube sock or stocking, placing it under your foot. This will allow you to target the more intricate areas of the foot’s surface (nearest the toes and the heels) with a smaller, but dense object. Here’s a video of the tennis ball SMFR:

Alternatively, you could apply a broomstick or theracane to your calves.

       Performing self myofascial release with a tennis ball or foam roller on the calves would also help reduce the tension of the plantar fascia.  

  1. Mobilize

  Perform ankle mobility exercises. A few of my favorites include a half kneeling ankle mob against the wall. Assume a lunge position, allowing your rear knee to touch the floor. Place your hands against the wall and bring the knee of your front leg, over your toe and gently tap the wall. Eventually progress to the standing variation as linked to below:


         Another good movement is a three point half kneeling ankle mob. Begin by your knee travel directly straight over the 2nd and 3rd toes, then back and over the big toe, then returning to the starting position, where you’ll finish with your knee traveling over the 4th and 5th toes. Repeat for time or repetitions.  

  1. Strengthen the lateral rotators of the hip

  Pronation is often observed in individuals who lack sufficient strength of the muscles which laterally rotate the hip. Strengthening the glute medius would help. Performing low lateral shuffles, X Band walks, side lying clamshells, standing lateral leg raise and lying butterfly glute bridges would help.   A typical prevention program would resemble this:  

Exercise Sets Reps or Duration
SMFR Tennis Ball or Stick Calves Intermittently throughout day :20 to 1:00
Wall Ankle Mobility Drill (Standing or Half Kneeling) Intermittently throughout day :30 or 15 reps
Wall Calf Stretch Intermittently throughout day :20  to :30
Barefoot Calf Raise 1 – 2 sets each day :30 or 15 reps
Hip External Rotation Movement 1 – 2 sets each day and 2 – 3 sets before workout :30 or 15 reps

  Give it a go, or suggest this article to those close to you who run regularly.