Plantar fasciitis cause, symptoms and treatment with 4 exercises

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot complaints. It is often a persistent and limiting problem.

Fortunately, it is well treatable.

I will explain to you exactly what causes plantar fasciitis, how you can recognize it from the symptoms, and how you can treat plantar fasciitis yourself with exercises.

I also tell you which insoles and shoes work well against plantar fasciitis.

So read on:

  1. Plantar fasciitis cause
  2. Plantar fasciitis symptoms
  3. Plantar fasciitis treatment with 4 exercises
Plantar fasciitis cause, symptoms and treatment with 4 exercises

Plantar faciitis cause

The foot contains many bones, and we can distinguish between the forefoot, the midfoot, and the heel. The heel is formed by the heel bone or calcaneus. The forefoot is formed by the toes and the midfoot by the other bones.

A tendon plate runs under the foot from the heel to the forefoot, the plantar fascia. This tendon provides the strength of the foot. The tendon can withstand a lot of forces, but sometimes it can be overloaded.

The overload irritates the tendon plate and causes pain. The tendon plate thickens, causing a bump to become noticeable under the foot. The official name is plantar fasciitis, but it is also known as heel spur.

The cause of plantar fasciitis is a combination of overload, stiffness, or insufficient strength of the calf or Achilles tendon.

However, the calf itself can also cause pain under the heel associated with plantar fasciitis.  An ultrasound is therefore necessary to make a definitive diagnosis. This will show you whether there is indeed a thickening of the tendon plate or not.

Plantar fasciitis cause, symptoms and treatment with 4 exercises

Plantar fasciitis symptoms

The best-known symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain under the heel, on the inside of the heel bone. If you don’t have this, you don’t have a plantar fasciitis.

This pain is especially noticeable when walking and standing for long periods.

Furthermore, the pain is often most severe during:

  • Walking after sitting still for a long time
  • During the first steps after getting up

Other symptoms may include:

  • Stiffness of the tendon plate under the foot
  • A stiff calf
  • A stiff Achilles tendon
  • A stiff ankle
  • Pain while driving
Plantar fasciitis cause, symptoms and treatment with 4 exercises

Plantar fasciitis treatment with 4 exercises

The first thing you need to do to relieve your plantar fasciitis pain is to rest the tendon plate.

You can do this by walking as little as possible and by wearing insoles.

By wearing the insoles you will experience less pain because the pressure is removed from your heel.

There are also special shoes that are made with a round sole, which reduces the pressure on your heel and allows your calf muscles to better transfer their forces to your foot. This also reduces your plantar fasciitis complaints.

To fully treat your plantar fasciitis, I will now discuss the four best exercises with you. With these exercises, we influence the most important causal factors of heel pain:

  • Shortened and stiff calf muscles
  • Shortened Achilles tendon
  • Limited strength of the calf and foot muscles
  • Limited mobility of the ankle and heel bone.
Plantar fasciitis treatment with 4 exercises

Plantar fasciitis exercise 1: Stretching your calf muscles

The first thing you should do is stretch your calf muscles.

As I’ve shown you before tight calf muscles are one of the causes of plantar fasciitis. It reduces the mobility of your ankle and increases the stress on your plantar fascia.

Also, tight calf muscles can cause radiating pain to your heel, mimicking plantar fasciitis.

The following plantar fasciitis stretch stretches your calf muscle:

  • Place your painful foot behind you in a straight line with your other foot
  • Extend your hip and knee and keep your heel on the ground
  • You will feel the stretch in your calf muscle
  • Hold this position for 20 second
  • Repeat this three times

You can also find the exercise in this video.

After a few days, you will feel that your calf muscles get looser and hurt less.

plantar fasciitis exercise 1 stretching your calf muscles

Plantar fasciitis exercise 2: Stretching your Achilles tendon

Your calf muscle is attached to your heel bone through your Achilles tendon.

Together with your calf muscle, you also have to stretch your Achilles tendon because it also causes tension on your plantar fascia.

The following plantar fasciitis stretch stretches your Achilles tendon:

  • Place your painful foot behind you
  • Bend your knee and move your weight as far as you can to the back
  • It’s like squatting on one leg
  • Hold this position for 20 seconds
  • Repeat it three times

You can also find the exercise in this video.

These two exercises usually count for a 50% reduction of your symptoms.

But there is more work to do to solve your problems completely.

Plantar fasciitis exercise 2 stretching your achilles tendon

Plantar fasciitis exercise 3: Improve ankle mobility

Together with reducing the tension in your calf muscles you also have to increase the movement of your ankle.

When your ankle is stiff, the forces in your leg don’t distribute equally.

That can cause overuse of your plantar fascia.

You can perform this exercise in the following way:

  • Stand on the tip of the toes of your painful foot
  • Now try to make circles as big as you can
  • Perform this both clockwise and counterclockwise
  • Repeat this several times a day

You can also find the exercise in this video.

Plantar fasciitis exercise 3 improve ankle mobility

Plantar fasciitis exercise 4: strengthening your calf muscles and plantar fascia.

The last exercise you have to do focuses on strengthening your calf muscles and plantar fascia.

Lack of strength in your calf muscles is the most common reason for them to tighten up.

So when you don’t train them, they will tighten up again which will make your symptoms come back.

You can perform the exercise in the following way:

  • Stand on two leg
  • Stand on your toes
  • Slowly come back down
  • Repeat this ten times
  • Do this three times

You can also find the exercise in this video.

After a while, you will see that the activity becomes too easy.

You can increase its difficulty by repeating it 15 or even 20 times.

After this, you can perform the exercise on one leg. When you can do three series of 15 repetitions on one leg your calf muscles, and plantar fascia are strong enough to cure your plantar fasciitis.

These are the four plantar fasciitis exercises you can do at home to cure your heel pain.

Sometimes however you need an extra hand to solve your problems completely.

I’ll discuss the options you have here.

plantar fasciitis exercise 4 strengthening your calf muscles and plantar fascia

Conclusion
There is a lot you can do yourself to relieve your pain. Try the stretches first and if that doesn’t help, find a good physical therapist. You don’t have to live with this pain.

If you have any questions after all this information feel free to send me an e-mail.

We will try to enter the answers into this post to keep improving it.

Don’t forget to share it with your friends so everyone can benefit.

Note: This information can never substitute for your doctor. If you are not sure about your condition or the exercises, don’t work or make it worse you should see your doctor.

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