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How to treat plantar fascitiis with foot strengthening exercises

By on Jul 22, 2013
Image of runner with plantar fasciitis

While plantar fasciitis remains the scourge of many runners, all is not lost. There are a range of steps that runners can take in fighting back against the injury. Prominent among these are quick and simple strengthening exercises that can go a long way in supporting your recovery back to running fitness.

More foot strengthening info for plantar fasciitis sufferers

Today our focus turns to plantar fasciitis – and the foot strengthening exercises you can perform to protect yourself from what’s arguably the most frustrating running injury.

First of all, we wanted to highlight a particularly useful article by Jen Adly, athletics coach for The Sport Factory. Later in this post we share some excellent video footage on this issue, as well.

The Sport factory article provides a fairly detailed overview of plantar fasciitis, covering the usual bases: what exactly is the injury, who is most likely to suffer from it, and what different approaches can you take to aid your rehabilitation.

Of particular note, though, is the discussion of foot strengthening exercises.

Noting that strengthening exercises can play an important role in preventing the weaknesses in running form that often lie behind plantar fasciitis (and other) injuries, Adley focuses on two exercises in particular:

  1. Toe-Walking with Opposite-Ankle Dorsiflexion. This exercise involves barefoot walking on your toes, while dorsiflexing the ankle and toes of the non-standing legs. (See the article for a more detailed description.) As the author puts it, this exercise helps develop eccentric strength and mobility in foot and calf muscles, the Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia. It can also support improved stability and balance.
  2. Toe-Curls. This simple exercise involves mimicking the grasping of an object with your toes, one foot at a time. This can provide a range of benefits, such as the development of strength, as well as flexibility and coordination, of keyfoot muscles.

A key part of the overall strategy is to strengthen the plantar fascia and, in doing so, reduce your vulnerability to plantar fasciitis. But, as the author notes, those suffering badly from the injury will need to progress slowly with such exercises to avoid making the condition even worse.

You’ll find the full article here.

…Strengthening of the entire lower extremity and core will aid in reducing any strength imbalances that may lead to an altered run gait and the many problems that may stem from there…

And finally

Another really useful resource is the following video. You’ll find some great foot strengthening exercises for plantar fasciitis in there as well:

Finally, what do you make of these foot strengthening tips? Why not share your thoughts in the comments below.


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