The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Plantar Fasciitis: Prevention and Recovery

Posted in
Fit Tips

Monday, Aug 15, 2016

Plantar fasciitis is an injury involving the spring ligament located on the bottom of the foot. This injury often heals slowly because the ligaments do not have as much blood supply as muscles. Those suffering from plantar fasciitis will typically feel a stabbing pain in their heel or arch. The plantar fascia is responsible for supporting the arch of the foot and holds the bones together. It extends from the heel to the base of the toes.

Common causes of plantar fasciitis:
  • Shoes with stiff soles
  • Shoes with poor arch support
  • Excessive pronation
  • Walking barefoot
  • Walking, standing or running on hard surfaces
  • Being overweight
  • Calf and Achilles tendon tightness (especially when coupled with a weak tibialis anterior muscle)
Exercises for prevention and recovery:
  • Circle Band Ankle Dorsiflexion:
    • The goal of this exercise is to strengthen the tibialis anterior muscle.
    • This exercise can be amplified by switching from a seated to a standing position. The body position change allows for strengthening of the tibialis anterior while challenging one’s balance.
  • Slow Tennis Ball Roll:
    • This is an advanced technique utilized to stretch and massage the plantar fascia.
    • The key to this exercise is that it is performed slowly. Once the tennis ball hits painful area, pause and maintain pressure until the pain subsides slightly.
  • Marble Pick-up
    • A strengthening exercise used to improve the activation and force production of the muscles located on the bottom of the foot.
    • By strengthening the foot muscles, gait patterns will improve due to increased strength of the stabilizing muscles.
  • Calf Stretches
    • The static stretches in the video will help with calf tightness.
    • They should be performed on a daily basis for the duration of 60 seconds.
For more information on plantar fasciitis and other common injuries, visit us for our upcoming Corrective Exercises for Injury Prevention course.