Yoga and more for plantar fasciitis

amy-ippoliti-yoga by Amy Ippoliti, International Yoga Teacher and ToeSox Ambassador I’m not a runner at all. My body loves the cardio, but the impact has always wreaked havoc on my joints. Always the optimist, I tried (again) to like running by going on a beach run in Australia a couple months ago. Everything was going swimmingly until about 10 minutes in. My foot hit a particularly uneven patch of sand and ZING! My arch was screaming with pain. Pretty quickly I was reminded what plantar fasciitis feels like. From then on whenever I walked on sand or sometimes early in the morning, the pain returned.

Here’s what I did to get rid of plantar fasciitis:

1. Morning calf stretch. Since our bodies are more stiff in the morning, you want to prevent walking without first warming up your muscles. When the calf muscles are stiff, they pull on the heel, making your plantar fascia taut. To help gain more range of motion in the muscles of the lower leg, wrap a yoga strap or belt around the instep of your foot. Keep your leg straight and pull the strap towards you to feel a stretch in the calf. Hold for 10 breaths and repeat five times before getting out of bed. Calf-stretch2. Foam roll the muscles above your feet! When you get a chance later in the day, do steps 2-5 as a little foot routine. Since every part of the body is connected, you’d be surprised how even a tight quad or shoulder can impact the pelvis, and down all the way to the feet when you’re walking and running. Spend some time rolling out your upper back, quads, and outer thighs.
3. Stretch the ball of your foot. Use your hand to pull your toes up and back until you feel a stretch along the ball of your foot and possibly all the way to your heel. Hold this for 10 breaths.

4. More calf stretching! There are so many great stretches for the calf. I have been enjoying, like:
  1. Downward Dog: In downward facing dog, bend your right knee and place your right foot behind your left foot. Enjoy the stretch in your left calf. Hold for 5 breaths on each side
  2. Foot up the Wall: Slide the ball of your right foot up the moulding of a wall. Lean into the wall with your body weight until you feel the calf open up. Hold for 5 breaths on each side.
Achilles-stretch-toesox 5. Self foot massage. Self massage helped me the most! You can do this in two ways:
  1. Roll a tennis or tune up ball under your foot for a few minutes to help loosen up your plantar fascia. Put some pressure on the ball to get a deep massage. It’s normal for it to feel tight and sore, but back off on the pressure if you feel pain. And….
  2. Get in there with your hands. When the fascia gets taut, it moves away from the bone (not literally, but you know what I mean). Therefore massage pressing firmly with both thumbs, gather up the fascia under your thumb or thumbs, and slowly move it toward the side of the heel for great relief. Repeat until you feel a difference when you walk.
Do this little foot practice daily until you feel better. I also totally recommend walking in ToeSox’s five toe sandals to maintain vibrant foot health. That is of course if the weather is cooperating!