Prevention of Plantar Fasciitis is necessary considering the average person takes approximately 10,000 steps and walks about 4-5 miles a day. Athletes walk on average 7-8 miles a day, that’s a lot of walking! If you want to continue walking without pain and striving to achieve your goals you need to take immediate measures to prevent plantar fasciitis before its too late.
The best measure to take against plantar fasciitis is stretching, stretching and more stretching! You want to stretch when you wake up, before training and before going to bed. The main reason people get plantar fasciitis is due to tight foot and leg muscles pulling and stiffening the fascia. These tight muscles will eventually cause micro tears in the fascia and heel of the foot making you dread every step you take. Below I will outline the muscles you should stretch and a few stretches that will effectively help in the prevention of plantar fasciitis.
Stretches to Prevent Plantar Fasciitis
There are four areas you need to cover in order to properly protect your foot. The first muscle you should stretch is your calf. If the calf gets too tight it will pull on the fascia and lead to tears. The second area you should focus on is the foot itself. Keeping the foot flexible will allow the fascia to lengthen and become stronger. Next you should attempt to stretch the sole of your foot. A strong sole is really helpful in preventing plantar fasciitis. Lastly you should target your toe pulling back on the toes is a great way to prevent tightness in the fascia. Generally speaking you want to hold each stretch for 15-20 seconds and make sure to do both legs/feet.
Floorboard: Lock knees and lean body toward wall with the top of the foot on the wall.
Lunge: Lean with one leg forward in a lunge position stretching the calf.
Foot Roll: Use a tennis ball and roll it under your foot from your toes to the heel. This is an excellent stretch for preventing plantar fasciitis and feels great!
Step Stretch: Stand on a step keeping just your toes on the step and slowly lower your heel toward the floor.
Heel Roll: Use a tennis ball and roll your heel on it to keep your heel loose.
Foam Roller: Use a foam roller to stretch the heel.
Chair Stretch: Sit on a chair and spread toes.
Towel Lift: Sit on a chair and use your toes to push a towel while pulling on it to add resistance.
Using these stretches twice a day is very important and will aid in preventing plantar fasciitis. Make sure not to overdo the stretching because you don’t want to create a heel spur. Getting massages often is also a great idea in keeping the foot healthy and flexible. Be sure to wear convertible shoes and try to stay off your feet whenever you can. Check out the video below for even more stretches, tips and measures to take to preventing plantar fasciitis.