Plantar Fasciitis: 6 Ways to Relieve Foot Pain

Plantar Fasciitis is a commonly misunderstood source of foot pain that ails many individuals. Not only can it create extreme discomfort, it can significantly limit your pain-free range of motion and create imbalances in your legs, hips, back, leading all the way up to your shoulders and neck as a result of compensating for foot pain over a long period of time (the whole body is connected!).

Learn more about proper body mechanics and review these 6 exercises and test them out over a 2 week period and see how much better you feel.

#1. Sock Stretch 2:45
#2. Ankle Stretch 4:05
#3. Myofascial Release 5:20
#4. Nutrition 7:35
#5. Epsom Salt Bath 8:19
#6. Kinesiology Tape 8:45

Read Video Text Below:

Hi, I'm David Weck and today I want to talk to you about Plantar Fasciitis.

It's a very serious problem for a lot of people, people have had a very difficult time dealing with it and getting rid of it and it could lead to all sorts of problems with the rest of the body as you sort of don't walk the way you walk because of pain. So today what I want to do is I want to give you six things to help you remedy Plantar Fasciitis and the first thing I want to do is to clarify sort of what it means and the real conditions that maybe underlying this pain.

If you don't understand what's at the root, the cause, then you'll have a very difficult time making positive change, so we're going to clarify things and put you on a path to recover. So lets look at the word: Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar is bottom of your foot, fascia is the connective tissue in the bottom of your foot, and all over your body but, in this case, in the bottom of your foot, and then it stands for inflammation.

Now the latest science is discovering, through surgical procedures removing tissue and examining it, that plantar fasciitis is often not inflammation at the root cause. Plantar fasciitis is actually, often times tissue death, which means that it's otis, as they would call it. That means that it's necrotic, that the blood's not getting there, that the tissue's not being fed, that means the tissue dies, that means the tissue hurts.

If we look at the bottom of your foot, we have a muscle on the inside of the foot called the abductor and that pulls the big toe out. Then we have a muscle on the inside of the foot that pulls it in called the adductor and the problem is that footwear traps the big toe, a lot of footwear traps the big toe, and bends it in and when you bend it in like that, what ends up happening is that this muscle (adductor) becomes shortened and tightened and restricted, so that when you take the shoe off, you have the toe is not capable of coming out and a result, this muscle here (abductor), that muscle becomes lengthened and stretched and the tendon that attaches it to the heel begins to choke off the blood supply.

So there's arteries and veins that run directly underneath that, and they feed the fascia and ligaments underneath the heel, and when they get chocked off because of that situation, what ends up happening is you, basically the tissue dies and it hurts, and when you're treating inflammation, like I said, it's not going to solve it.

So, I'm going to give you six solutions, six things that you can do to help put you on a path to recovery from plantar fasciitis.

So here's number one: number one is something that we call the sock stretch, its real sophisticated. You go into your drawer, you find an old sock that you don't care about and its going to be your little training tool and you loop it around one big toe, you loop it around another big toe, you line up the feet nice and straight and then you spread the big toes. And that elastic is going to give you a nice springy action that's going to give you a stretch and once you get better at it and put a little tension into it, flare and spread all the toes best you can, that you can see how it raises the medial arch, you are shortening this muscle so that it give that and that blood supply the relief, and so the way that you do this, because it's sort of a funny exercise, the way that you do it is when you're doing something else, like when you're laying in bed, reading a book, watching TV, just do it. You need to do it about three times a day minimum because it takes a long time; it took a long time to get into the problem. You know, you have to work at it on a consistent basis to make change. So, you do this underneath your desk, you do it in bed, you just do it, don't go too hard too fast, don't feel like a joint dislocation or anything here. You get to the point where you put some decent amount of tension in there and that's going help start of rectify and alleviate the problem, so that's our first step, is the sock stretch.

Now the next step is ankle flexibility and we're going to stretch the ankle both ways which is oftentimes not what people do, they only do one way. So what we do is we do something called plantar flexion and we want to do this one first. Plantar flexion is when we're bringing the bottom of the foot out this way, creating length in the front of the ankle. If you're not able to sit on your heels, and many people won't be able to do this, roll up a towel and put that towel underneath and that's going to get you a little support, and so find that level of stretch that's appropriate for you and just stretch that. You can roll into different positions on it, put a little pressure down into it, spread the toes, get that flexibility and the one I like to cycle it with what we call dorsiflexion, which is the typical treatment for plantar fasciitis. A little cycle between this downward dog action here, that's going to shorten this and lengthen this, that and this, and you want to do this flexibility at least twice a day, morning and night will tend to work real well. You don't have to do it that long, camp out two or three minutes cycling back and forth, and don't go too far too fast, you wanna be very moderate in your application so you don't hurt yourself.

Third thing that you're going to do is you're gonna roll for your feet, so rolling your feet, you have to do it in a specific order if you're going to get the best results. This is the bottom a foot, flip it so toes are down. This is the lateral, the outside, we're going to do that section first. Then you have the middle, which is called transverse and you're going to roll that section second, then you have the medial arch, which you're going to do third. You don't do this first because it essentially anatomically is above the outside, so for release, if you release this without releasing this, you can actually create more problems. So I'm using the RMT®Rope to do this, the handle of it is perfect and I'm going to camp out on that meaty section right here, don't go to pain, you might have localized pain here, so you may have to sit for these at first, so only put the amount of pressure in where you don't have to grit your teeth and really like 'ahh its hurting so bad', back off and just stay with me, what i call delicious discomfort. It has to have discomfort to make change, but it has to be the right amount. Use relaxation in your face as a guide. Now just go all that lateral motor in your foot, spread the toes, see the way I'm spreading my toes out? That's going to help as well. You don't want the toes to be all bunched in, spread them as best you can. Now you just get that meaty part right there. The transverse, this one is the most sensitive one on most people. Now be very, very ginger with it at first, I like to go this direction toward the heel and you can do both directions but emphasize the toward the heel and especially as you get close to the heel down in here, be very, very moderate with the tension. Sit down like I said as necessary. Now we get, finally, to the medial side and the rope handle just works so well, any cylindrical object is going to work well, I like a cylinder better than a ball for the bottom of the feet and you just find the pain and make it go away. Get in there, find the tender spot, put the right about of pressure in, do it consistently and you will make change. So, what you're going to do with that is you're going to do that rolling two times a day, combine that with the ankle flexibility. So that's the third thing that you're going to do.

Now what you're going to do is you're going to focus on nutrition, which is hydration and a magnesium supplement. Hydration is going to give you a more fluid body, for flexibility, don't want to be dehydrated because you can't win when you're dehydrated. So what you do is if you drink a lot of coffee, make sure you counterbalance it with water. Just get enough hydration fluid; water, herbal teas, the things that are going to hydrate you and not dehydrate you are the key. A magnesium supplement works really well because magnesium helps reduce that tensed muscular action. Magnesium relaxes the muscle, so get enough magnesium in your diet, cal-mag-zinc tablets, easy to find, get that supplementation.

Okay, the next thing you're going to do is you're going to do epsom salt baths, epsom salt soaks for the feet because epsom is a magnesium sulfate, so you're going to create localized reduction of tension with the epsom salt. You can do that once a day. That's at the end of the day, at night, maybe it's the beginning of the day, but the end of the day tends to work best for that, so you go to bed, you get a full restorative night's sleep, and you have that nice relaxing effect through the feet.

The last thing, sixth thing you can do is you can use tape, like a kinesio tape. It's like a stretchy tape that you see the volleyball players, they have it on their shoulder, a lot of athletes wear it. I like the tape better than orthotics, because orthotics you can become dependent on, tape is a temporary situation.So you take the tape and you stretch the tape and you run from here to here, now that tape is going to be pulling in this way and it's going to be complementing that sock stretch and you can also take the tape underneath the bottom of the foot and increase the arch there, so you're going to give yourself a temporary solution so you can get yourself out of acute pain. Acute pain is going to make you walk funny and can lead to all sorts of problems, so the tape is sort of like to address it in the acute stage, but don't become dependent on it.

Now, a bonus thing you can do and this was how I fixed my plantar fasciitis when I had it fifteen years ago and I got it pretty severe, what I did, I didn't know all these steps, what I did was I created the BOSU® ball and training on the BOSU® ball gives your feet all this intrinsic movement and it makes them very strong and the stronger your feet are, the stronger your body is.

That fixed it for me, just that, but if you really going to accelerate the healing, you do those six things. You do the sock stretch, you do it three times a day, three minutes for a session, that's all you're going to need and you can do more if you want, don't go too far too fast, right? So that's your first.

Then you're going to do the flexibility two times a day, two or three minutes, that's enough.

Now you're going to do the rolling, those three arches, do that for two to three minutes, if you need to do that a little bit more, if you find a spot, feel free to spend a little more time in there to get it.

You're going to keep hydrated and you're going to take a magnesium supplement, so that's your fourth thing. Your fifth thing is an epsom salt bath and soak, and that's going to give you that localized relief.

And then you're going to use that kinesio tape. If you have access to a BOSU® ball, bare feet works fantastic on a BOSU® ball for fixing your feet.

When you fix your feet, you're going to be absolutely so happy and your whole body will operate better and it's not an easy thing to do. I want you to take two weeks, do these steps exactly how I outlined them, again, and don't go too far too fast, don't get impatient with it, took a long time for you to get into this hole and it may take you a little bit of time get out, so consistency is the key.

Spend two weeks doing these things, I want you to share your success stories and I want you to share issues as they present if you're not successful and we want to uncode this, descramble this egg and get you on a path to recovery.

That's how you're going to tackle the problem of Plantar Fasciitis, thanks.

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