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Plantar Fasciitis- there is relief

When I was in college, I was on the cross country team at UC Riverside, running at least once, if not twice a day.  I was teaching 15 aerobics classes a week at the college and local health club and training for triathlons.  My feet were killing me.  I went to a podiatrist and we tried all the usual relief techniques that were available 30 years ago and still pushed today.  Wear orthotics, tape when you exercise, wear a boot to bed and finally cortisone shots. These techniques work in the short term, but they don’t really fix the problem. So here are the things that actually worked for me.

I threw out the orthotics after 20 years. I read up on barefoot running and while I wasn’t planning on running much, I did change how I walked.  I bought less supportive shoes, becasue all that support makes you lazy.  Supportive shoes allow you to slam your heal when you walk. You don’t roll through your foot properly and you take too big of a step.  For 6 months I relearned how to walk. Barefoot style shoes help you do this  because you sure don’t want to slam your heel into the ground, so you learn to walk more gingerly.  You land a bit more flat footed and then roll through your toes.  This helps stretch the fascia every time you step.

A few months later I really started doing my exercises.  I did point and flex of the foot. I rolled my ankles in circles. I balanced on one foot and I used a towel to scrunch up my toes.  This worked for me, but I wish I had known this next thing!

Last year, I took a few classes with Aileen Sheron:  http://aileensheron.com/videos/myofascial-release-with-aileen-sheron/. These are what really changed my life.  I started rolling any sore body parts a few times a day.  She recommends 2 minutes, 5 times a day.  While the studies are inconclusive on what is happening when you do this and why it works, I can tell you that it is amazing.

For your plantar fasciitis you can roll a tennis ball across the fibers of your foot. Begin at the ball of the foot and roll across. Work it all the way down to the heel.  Then, roll the tennis ball from the ball of the foot with the fiber of your foot, the long way all the way to your heel.  Finally, press down on the tennis ball, like squeezing oranges into the sore spots.   You can add stretching and the towel exercises to finish off your routine.

A recent success story is my sister-in-law Traci.  She runs on the stubborn side, but she was really suffering due to a job that required her to stand all day.  After one time with her new tennis ball techniques, she called me in amazement, “It works”.  Now she takes her ball to work and uses it on her breaks.

So, before you go spend a bunch of money on stuff that never worked for me, try this cheap trick first and see if you get some relief. Let me know how it goes!

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