Plantar Fasciitis – What Worked For Me

I AM NOT A DOCTOR.
This is just what worked for me.

If you haven’t yet, you can read about my two year Plantar Fasciitis saga. Doing Time with Plantar Fasciitis.

First off, I stopped doing what irritated it. I stopped any jumping, hard stopping, jarring movements. 

No box jumps, no running, no jumping. 

I did box step-ups, but didn’t step down with the bad foot. I thought this was too jarring on the heel. 

I avoided any of these until my foot didn’t hurt for a month, then slowly add things back in. Just because it wasn’t hurting didn’t mean it wasn’t still inflamed. I learned to just give it time. Ugh.

I did try to keep moving. Just because my foot hurt, I didn’t try to completely stop. I will admit it was hard. It felt like everything I did bothered it. If something irritates it, I definitely didn’t do it anymore. 

I bought a lacrosse ball (around ~$1 at Academy sports) not a tennis or golf ball. A tennis ball was too soft, a golf ball was too hard. 

STRETCHING

  • Lacross Ball Roll
    I rolled the entire bottom of each foot w/ lacrosse ball. I did this to both feet at least :30 seconds per foot. I also would press the lacrosse ball into painful bits and see if the pain released. 
  • Toe Stretch
1:55 into this video. Toe stretch on a lacrosse ball
  • Straight Leg Calf Stretch
    The Calf is made up of two muscles so I needed two different stretches to stretch both.
    I bought a Calf Stretcher on Amazon for the straight leg stretch. It feels so good when using this!
    I would hold the stretch for 1 minute per leg if not longer.
  • Hamstring Stretch
    Using calf stretcher, I bend over and try to touch the toe of the foot that I am stretching. When I first started, I could only go part of the way. It’s pretty effective on the hamstrings and makes them ‘light up’.
  • Bent Knee Calf Stretch
    I do this without the calf stretcher just with my foot on a curb or up against the wall. I find a curb or a stair works better. Again, 1 min per leg.
  • Glute Stretch
    I spent a lot of time doing the Figure 4 Stretch

STRENGTHENING

  • Balancing on one foot
    I did this for several minutes a day multiple times a day.
    Ways I kept this interesting:
    • I would toss a ball back and forth w/ a friend while standing on one foot.
    • I stood on one foot while brushing my teeth
0:30 seconds into this video 
  • Clam Shells
    I did a lot of clamshells.
    Surprisingly, once I learned to do these correctly, I realized I wasn’t able to lift my knee as high as I expected. I did find it helped to do this with my back up against a wall or the front of the couch to prevent me from rocking backward.
1:30 into this video
  • Internal Rotation Clam Shells
    Same video, about 1:47 in
  • Banded Leg Strengthening
    Once my foot was almost better, I started going leg strengthening w/ a band. Again, same video above, about 4:08 in.
  • Glute Bridge/Hip Thrust
    I highly recommend the Mark Bell Hip Circle with this exercise. It really turns on the glutes making this way more effective. There are other brands of hip circles on amazon, but many are junk. This is the best I’ve found. I still use this routinely today.
    I worked up 60 of these at a time.
  • Hinge Balance Exercise
    I learned to make sure my hips weren’t twisting too much. My PT forced me to do this slow and controlled. I liked doing these without shoes on a solid floor like wood floor or concrete. I was that barefoot weirdo walking around the physical therapy office.
  • One Leg Balance
    When I got better at the hinge, my physical therapist had me practice doing these but picking things up. He placed things in a clock pattern around me. Then balancing on one leg, I had to reach over pick the item straight ahead of me at 12 o’clock., then stand straight up still balancing. Then I bent over and put the item back. Then I did the same to the item at 1 o’clock continuing to 3 o’clock. And go back to 12. I couldn’t find a video of this one.
  • One Leg Clock Touch
    He also set cones up around me in a clock pattern. Balance on one leg, I had to reach out and touch the top of a cone at 12 o’clock w/ my toe and stand back up. Then do this with the cone at 1 o’clock and repeat to 6 o’clock. Then I switched legs. I always did everything to both sides so one side wasn’t left uneven. I couldn’t find a video of this one either.

ASTYM

On top of all these physical therapy strength exercises, I also did ASTYM. There are videos on YouTube on how you can do this yourself, but I had the most success going to an actual Physical Therapist that did this to me. I did this at least once a week. This really helps loosen things up. It wasn’t the most comfortable procedure, but when it was over, I felt great!

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