Exercises - Foot heel raise
There is a scientifically supported exercise to reduce the symptoms associated with plantar fasciopathy. This is by far the most recommended exercices for all of my patients with this condition.
1. Stand on a step or a platform raised off the ground. If there is no handrail, place a back chair in front of you so you can stabilize yourself. Be barefoot, a towel rolled up under your toes, your heel hanging in the air.
2. Slowly push (for 3 seconds) upwards by contracting your calf (to rise on the tip of your foot).
3. Hold this position for 2 seconds.
4. Slowly lower (for 3 seconds) the heel slightly lower than the toes.
5. Do 3 sets of 10 reps for each leg.
Repeat this exercise 3 times per day for a total of 60 repetitions per day.
a. If too painful, start with both feet at the same time;
b. If too easy, increase the repetitions and then gradually add a load.
Advice from your podiatrist: A muscle-building program will help your body to better absorb the impacts. Concentrate on your calves, then your glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
Practice - Example for your understanding
An activity or a change in your habits causes microtears in your fascia (identify this activity or change). This stimulates inflammation. Your first steps are painful after a night's sleep because the inflammation is lodged under your heel (importance of warming up). The first steps cause further micro-tears (importance of avoiding walking barefoot for a while), you stimulate the inflammatory process again (attack the cause).
The edema caused by the inflammation compresses the soft tissues and nerves around your heel. This compression causes more pain and further stimulates inflammation (break the cycle with ice and activity change). This cycle repeats constantly and you eventually develop chronic plantar fasciopathy, which is much more difficult to treat (avoid fibrosis of the fascia with exercise).