The plantar fascia supports the foot arches and helps absorb shock during high impact activities including running and jumping. Scraping promotes fresh blood flow which improves the extensibility of the plantar fascia and other supporting tissues to help them absorb shock properly. Blood flow also creates an ideal healing environment for the tissues that are contributing to the pain and dysfunction. The scraping method also stimulates a certain pathway in the nervous system to decrease pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Stretching reinforces the extensibility of any muscles or tissues that have become stiff due to this injury, or those which are increasing the risk of plantar fasciitis by preventing proper shock absorption. Strengthening the muscles in the foot and lower leg which help with shock absorption and support the plantar fascia will reduce impact and relief symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis rehabilitation will begin with one stretch for the plantar fascia and intrinsic foot muscles. The strength exercises this week are non-weight bearing but will strengthen the intrinsic and extrinsic muscles of the foot which absorb shock and support the function of the plantar fascia.
Plantar Fasciitis - Week 2
For week 2 of plantar fasciitis recovery, we will progress to stretches and strength exercises that require more weight-bearing. Exercises such as calf raises also activate the muscles in the foot which support the plantar fascia.
Plantar Fasciitis - Week 3
The final week of plantar fasciitis recovery includes exercises that require more stability through the foot and the ankle joint. A balance ball or balance pad increases instability to activate all muscles working through the foot and ankle joint. Explosive exercises such as single-leg ankle hops reintroduces shock absorption and tests/trains the function of the plantar fascia.