9 Ways To Make Your Cardio Workouts More Fun

By dassf Feb9,2024

Say goodbye to the dreadmill.

Plantar fasciitis can be a particularly scummy injury. Anti-inflammatories don’t do much; ice doesn’t help. And if you let it linger, you could be waiting for over a year to find relief from chronic pain—and not just in your foot. “If you let [plantar fasciitis] go for too long, it can lead to other issues, like knee pain or hip pain,” says physical therapist Jacob VanDenMeerendonk, DPT.

The good news: Catch a flare-up early and start doing some plantar fasciitis exercises ASAP, and you might start to feel better in as little as a few days. “It’s highly effective to go see a physical therapist and get it treated,” says Dr. VanDenMeerendonk. The key is to address whatever’s causing your plantar fasciitis, and build the strength and mobility you need right away so that other body parts don’t begin to compensate for the pain.

If you’re ready to rid yourself of your heel pain, read on to find out more about what plantar fasciitis is—including how to tell if you have it—and learn a few plantar fasciitis exercises you can do at home to help your foot heal fast.

Why plantar fasciitis happens

We get plantar fasciitis when the bottom of our foot is too weak to handle the amount of stress we’re putting on it, and the tissue becomes irritated. “It’s actually not an inflammatory condition; it’s more of a hypersensitivity condition,” explains Dr. VanDenMeerendonk.

There are two main camps of people who typically end up with plantar fasciitis: Athletes (particularly runners) who ramp up their workouts too quickly, and people who aren’t very active so their feet can’t handle the stress of their body weight when they’re just walking around or standing—especially if they wear less-than-ideal footwear.

Unfortunately, this injury is pretty common. Daniel Supple, DPT, CSCS, a physical therapist at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, says that about 10 percent of all people will get plantar fasciitis at some point in their life. Those he sees most often for it are women in their 40s to 60s.

How to tell if you have plantar fasciitis

Just because the bottom of your foot is aching doesn’t necessarily mean you have plantar fasciitis. True plantar fasciitis will present as pain on the bottom of the foot toward the inside of the heel, especially during the first few steps of the morning or if you’re pressing on that area with your fingers, says Dr. Supple.

You can also check for plantar fasciitis by flexing your foot and stretching your big toe back toward your shin. “If you have pain in the middle of the foot or in that heel area, that’s a positive test,” says Dr. Supple. Of course, it’s best to see a physician for a real diagnosis, but these signs can point you in the right direction.

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