Plantar fascia may not be a term you hear every day, but it is important when it comes to foot health. According to Healthline, more than 50 percent of Americans suffer from foot pain, and that pain is most commonly associated with damage to the plantar fascia, a thin ligament that connects the heel to the front of your foot. This condition is called plantar fasciitis.
Repetitive motion and weight gain are usually the leading culprits when a person develops plantar fasciitis. The condition is common among athletes, pregnant women and those whose work requires long periods of time on their feet, because the constant movement and pressure from added weight leads to inflammation and pain. However, you can take a few actions to prevent and treat plantar fasciitis.
The overall best thing you can do if you suffer from plantar fasciitis is to incorporate effective stretching to help loosen the tight muscles that aggravate the condition.
Seated exercises are both helpful and achievable by most people. Heathline offers the following exercises for seated stretching:
- Roll your foot over a water bottle or similarly shaped object for one minute per foot.
- Cross one leg over the other and pull upward on your big toe. Hold this position for 15 seconds, release and repeat three times, before alternating to the other foot.
- Use a folded towel to mimic an exercise strap. Place the towel under the arch of your foot and gently pull upward so that your foot is stretched in front of you. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat three times.
Stretching your calves can also promote heel health. Simply extend your leg in a lunge-like movement and hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat three times per leg.