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Stretches and Custom Orthotics to Relieve Plantar Fasciitis

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Plantar Fasciitis is a very painful condition and it can lead to discomfort that is hard to attend to without active care so you may wonder if stretches and custom orthotics to relieve plantar fasciitis pain really work. Many people who have this condition worry that they will never be able to control their pain because they have to be on their feet all day or because they are an athlete who needs to be able to run and exercise.

If you have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, you might have worried that you will not be able to deal with the daily pain. Thankfully, here are some excellent ways to manage Plantar Fasciitis, and stretches and custom orthotics can make a big difference in the discomfort that you have been feeling. While Plantar Fasciitis can sometimes resolve through rest and a change of shoes or your exercise routine, this condition usually requires daily care.

Stretches and custom orthotics can make a big difference in your Plantar Fasciitis management and treatment plans.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

This painful condition is caused by inflammation in the bottom of the foot. The pain might show up as heel pain at first and then it will likely extend along the entire bottom of the foot. It has been found that this pain is often worse in the morning but it might become an all-day struggle that impacts your ability to walk around, and stand. You might even feel pain when you are lying down in more advanced cases.

For very active people, Plantar Fasciitis might be mistaken for normal discomfort related to overtraining or being very active. People who stand on their feet all day at work might also think that foot pain of this kind is normal due to their work environment. Early signs of this condition can often be ignored due to other factors that lead people to think that their pain is normal and will go away with rest. If the pain that you are experiencing is really due to Plantar Fasciitis, rest will not be enough to resolve the problem.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis Stretches to Relieve Pain

Most of these exercises need to be done at least once a day. The more challenging exercises might not be accessible to you at first. Always listen to your body and stretch gently and carefully when your pain is acute. You want to help the muscles and tissue on the bottom of your feet to be more flexible but you do not want to force any kind of stretch that is causing severe pain. This is a sign that your foot is not ready for this level of challenge.

Plantar Fasciitis treatment can have ups and downs and you will want to pay attention to your comfort each day so that you do not overdo it. Even simple stretches can be quite hard on your feet if your inflammation is much worse than usual. As you add activities back into your routine, you might have bad days and good days. This is normal and you should not try and ignore the pain in your feet if you want your Plantar Fasciitis to heal fully.

1. Heel Raises

This is a simple stretch that is gentle and that can be trusted to make your feet feel much better. You should do this exercise with slow and controlled motions so that you do not overextend inflamed tissues and cause further pain in your feet. This exercise is great to warm up your legs and feet and it can also tell you a lot about your discomfort level each day. Be careful to limit all of the more advanced work that you do if this exercise is really uncomfortable on certain days. The process of stretching and healing after your Plantar Fasciitis diagnosis can be variable.

To do heel raises, you will just need a step or a ledge that you can stand on safely. Then, you will place the balls of your feet on the edge of the step and slowly allow your heels to drop. Next, raise back up onto the balls of your feet so that your toes are pointed down. This can be repeated about 10 times in a row. You should do this work once a day.

2. Ankle Inversion

This exercise requires an elastic band but it is quite simple to do. To start, sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Be sure that you do not move your hips while you do this exercise. Then, you will put your left leg over your right and secure the upper foot with the resistance band. Next, hold the band with your hand and slowly move your upper foot away from your lower foot. This means you will need to rotate your foot inward and then return it to the starting position.

Do this exercise ten times for two sets for each foot. You will want to do this work once a day. This stretch can be more advanced than some people are ready for when they are in an acute stage of the inflammatory process. If you only get a few of these stretches done at first, that is fine. You need to listen to your body and move slowly through these more advanced stretches to avoid creating more inflammation.

3. Toe Scrunches

You will place your whole foot on the ground to do this stretch. Sit upright in a chair and put your foot on a towel. Curl your toes and scrunch the towel inward. You will then pull the towel back out flat and repeat. Do two sets of ten of these exercises on each foot. This is a great way to gauge how much tenderness is in your feet since this exercise will get more uncomfortable progressively if your feet are in an acute stage of inflammation. Be aware of this sign that your feet might not be ready for more advanced stretches yet.

This is a great exercise to do once a day and you will find that this is one of the gentler exercises for your discomfort. Sometimes some of the more advanced stretches can be too much for sore feet but this one is always a good choice for your stretching needs.

4. Seated Stretch

Sit in a chair and cross one leg over the other knee. Your ankle should be resting on the top of your leg. You will then hold your ankle with one hand and hold your toes with the other hand. Gently pull your toes until you feel the stretch along the bottom of your foot.

You will want to stretch both feet like this for 20 seconds each time. Do three times and repeat for each foot. You will want to do this once a day but you could add this stretch into your routine twice if need be. This stretch can also be used to prepare your feet for pressure to be added to them when you stand up. It is a great option for a little foot warm-up before you put your feet on the floor in the morning for the first time.

5. Calf Stretch

While this might seem like it would not be a helpful stretch for your feet, this stretch actually works on both your calves and your feet. You will stand near the wall and place your hands flat against the wall. Extend one foot backward and bend your front leg. You will feel the stretch in the back of your calf and along the bottom of your foot as you do so. Hold for 20 seconds and then release.

Do this exercise daily and repeat each stretch three times per leg. This is a great stretch to do in the morning to get your legs warmed up and ready for the day and to help your feet to be less painful as you start moving around. It is also a good stretch to do if you are going to try and walk or run as you get back into your normal activities.

6. Foam Rolling

While you need to be careful about this process, you will get a lot of benefits out of adding this to your stretching routine. If you have a soft foam roller, you can easily roll out the bottom of your feet with it. You can also use a water bottle if you do not have a foam roller, but a foam roller will offer a much more comfortable and effective surface for this exercise.

To use this process to make your feet feel better, you will place your heel on the roller and then gently roll your foot forward toward the ball of the foot. You will want to push gently as you do this so that you do not bruise your feet. This is a more advanced stretch but it can greatly improve the comfort of your feet and help you to reduce your healing time.

How Can Custom Orthotics Help With Plantar Fasciitis Pain?

Plantar fasciitis, that nagging heel pain, can turn everyday activities into a chore. The culprit? Inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the sole of your foot. If you've been battling this painful condition, custom orthotics might be the answer you've been looking for. 

Custom orthotics, unlike generic drugstore insoles, are crafted from a mold of your foot, creating a personalized fit that provides targeted support for your specific needs. In the case of plantar fasciitis, orthotics can offer significant relief in several ways: 

  • Pressure Redistribution: Plantar fasciitis often stems from excessive strain on the plantar fascia. Custom orthotics help distribute pressure more evenly across your foot, alleviating stress on the inflamed tissue. This can significantly reduce pain, especially in the morning or after long periods on your feet.

  • Arch Support: Flat feet or low arches can contribute to plantar fasciitis. Custom orthotics can be designed to provide the arch support you need. This improved support helps prevent excessive stretching of the plantar fascia, promoting healing and reducing inflammation.

  • Biomechanical Correction: Improper foot mechanics, like rolling inward (pronation), can place undue stress on the plantar fascia. Custom orthotics can be designed to correct these biomechanical imbalances, realigning your feet and reducing strain on the plantar fascia.

By addressing these key factors, custom orthotics can play a vital role in managing plantar fasciitis pain. They can also help prevent future flare-ups by promoting proper foot mechanics and reducing stress on the plantar fascia.

If you're considering custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis, consulting a podiatrist is recommended. They can assess your individual needs and determine if custom orthotics are the right course of treatment for you.

Bilt Labs Custom Orthotics

Plantar fasciitis, that agonizing pain in your heel, can disrupt your daily life. While there are various treatment options, custom orthotics have emerged as a highly effective tool for managing and alleviating plantar fasciitis pain. Bilt Labs takes this approach a step further by offering custom orthotics specifically designed to address the root causes of your plantar fasciitis.

Here's how Bilt Labs custom orthotics can help you get back on your feet, pain-free:

  • Personalized Pressure Relief: Plantar fasciitis stems from inflammation of the plantar fascia, a ligament that supports the arch of your foot. Bilt Labs' custom orthotics are designed to address the specific biomechanical factors that contribute to your condition. By creating a mold of your foot, they craft orthotics that perfectly match your unique arch shape and pressure points. This targeted approach ensures optimal pressure redistribution, alleviating stress on the inflamed plantar fascia and promoting healing.

  • Superior Arch Support: Flat feet or low arches are common culprits in plantar fasciitis. Bilt Labs orthotics are designed to provide the level of arch support you need. This improved support prevents excessive stretching and strain on the plantar fascia, promoting proper foot alignment and reducing inflammation.

  • Combating Pronation: Improper foot mechanics, like inward rolling (pronation), can exacerbate plantar fasciitis. Bilt Labs can design your orthotics to address these imbalances. By incorporating features that gently correct your pronation, they help realign your feet and prevent excessive strain on the plantar fascia ligament.

Bilt Labs' commitment to customization goes beyond impression kits. They offer different orthotic options, like "Active" for high-impact activities, to cater to your specific needs and lifestyle. Additionally, their high-quality materials ensure long-lasting comfort and support.

If you're battling plantar fasciitis, consulting a podiatrist is a wise first step. They can diagnose the cause of your pain and recommend a personalized treatment plan. Bilt Labs custom orthotics can be a powerful tool in your plantar fasciitis management toolbox, offering targeted pain relief, improved foot mechanics, and a quicker path to recovery.

Bilt Labs Custom Orthotics

In conclusion, while both stretches and custom orthotics offer effective relief for plantar fasciitis, the best approach often combines these strategies. Stretching helps improve flexibility and reduce tightness in the plantar fascia and calf muscles, while custom orthotics provide targeted support to address the underlying biomechanical causes of your pain. By incorporating both stretches and custom orthotics into your plantar fasciitis treatment plan, you can experience faster healing, improved comfort, and a quicker return to your favorite activities. Take our free quiz today to find out which orthotic type is best for your feet.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any decisions about your health. If you have any questions about your health or are experiencing any medical problems, please contact your doctor or other healthcare provider immediately. Do not delay seeking medical attention based on the information provided in this article.