Your Personal PT, Rachel Tavel, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), so she knows how to get your body back on track when it’s out of line. In this weekly series, she gives you tips on how to feel better, get stronger, and train smarter.
Whether you are going to work, headed to your workout, or just waiting to get your coffee, you probably spend a good portion of your day standing or walking. All that time on your feet can make it impossible to ignore when something doesn’t feel right.
Foot pain can come in many forms. If you’re feeling pain in the heel or at the base of your foot while standing, you could have a tight plantar fascia. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of fascia or tissue that extends from the heel of your foot towards the toes. It’s one of the more common causes of foot pain and, unsurprisingly, it can have many causes.
One possible cause of plantar fascia pain is footwear. Flat, hard soled shoes can be contributing to a strain at the bottom of your foot when its bearing weight. Tight calves, hamstrings, and big toes (yes, you read that correctly) can also contribute to this type of pain. All of the muscles in the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, soleus, flexor hallucis longus, to name a few) are closely connected and can cause a chain reaction of tightness and tension that manifests at the heel or base of the foot.
But don’t worry: There are several methods you can try to help alleviate this type of foot pain.
I know it might sound like a lot, but if you combine all of these exercises, you should be able to kick plantar fasciitis and that terrible, nagging foot pain right in the butt and walk away feeling just fine.
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