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The Dos & Don'ts Of Plantar Fasciitis

The Do's & Don'ts Of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of foot and heel pain and many people who develop this condition suffer for much longer than they should. In fact, most of the cases that I have treated in my office have had pain for years.

This is primarily because there is a tremendous amount of misinformation out there about how to treat it effectively.

This injury is caused by the degeneration of the tissue from overloading or overuse. It is not an inflammatory condition as originally noted.

For this reason, most rehab efforts fail because treating with anti-inflammatory measures is a temporary remedy and not addressing the underlying root cause.

I specialize in foot and gait mechanics and I have treated hundreds of cases of plantar fasciitis. My goal is to arm you with the latest knowledge about the condition so that you can return to the activities you love.

Plantar fasciitis is already so painful the last thing you want is to make it worse. Let's take a look at the Dos & Don'ts regarding plantar fasciitis.

Dr. Angela Walk

The Plantar Fasciitis Doc

Specializing in Foot & Gait Mechanics

The DOs of Plantar Fasciitis:

1. Do Wear Natural Footwear

What are the best shoes for walking for plantar fasciitis?

Ill-fitting footwear is the number one cause of foot and heel conditions. Most shoes are not designed to support the natural shape of our feet. It's baffling to me why most shoe manufacturers do not consider what truly makes a healthy shoe.

When discussing foot health, the design of your footwear should include critical criteria. The following design features to be foot-health-positive:

  • A wide toe box to encourage natural toe splay and spreading of the toes

  • A flexible sole to encourage enhanced foot strength

  • A completely flat support platform from heel to toe to encourage natural arch support

Our feet are inherently strong and do not need extra arch support or extra cushion. It seems that the less “technology” a shoe has, the better it is for the foot. The more a shoe externally “supports” the feet, the less internal strength the the feet develop.

The functional footwear brands that I recommend are Vivobarefoot shoes and Altra Running shoes. Both of these brands check all the foot healthy boxes. I am not an affiliate for these brands.

These are actually the brand I love for comfort, style, and foot health. I am an avid pickleball player and I play in both of these brands.

Want to know if your footwear is foot-positive? Try this test to see if your shoes are healthy for your feet. Remove the insole from your shoes and stand on it.

Does your entire foot and toes fit within the boundaries? If not, then your foot and toes will be unable to splay wide at the forefoot to distribute the load of your body and injury is likely.

2. Do Strengthen You Foot Core

Short foot exercises to strengthen your foot core ~ Dr. Angela Walk

Does your foot have a core? Yep! Weakness of these core intrinsic muscles of the foot are one of the most common causes of plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinosis, and other lower extremity disorders.

Short foot exercises, also called foot doming, is one of the exercise I recommend to strengthen your arch muscles.

I have found over the years, that giving patients fewer exercises and simple homework increases compliance. So, this is ONE simple exercise that makes a huge difference in foot health!

  • First, stand on one foot, and evenly distribute your body weight over the plantar foot.

  • Then, spread the digits. Make sure all toes are in touch with the ground.

  • Press the toes into the ground, and contract the arch of that foot.

  • Hold the short foot exercise for about 10 seconds and repeat this 5 times. Perform daily!

Another simple way to increase foot strength is to walk barefoot with toe spacers. Barefoot walking is often discouraged for those with plantar fasciitis, however, it is actually one of the healthiest things you can do for your feet.

And toes spacers stretch and realign your toes and strengthen the smaller muscles of your feet and toes. Read more about the benefits of toe spacers here.

3. Do Increase Dorsiflexion & Ankle Mobility

Can tight calves cause plantar fasciitis?

People who develop plantar fasciitis typically have limited dorsiflexion (flexion of the foot). That’s the movement in which the foot is brought toward the shin. In other words, their ankles have limited range of