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The foot contains many small bones, tendons and muscles. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes, states MedlinePlus. When this tissue is overworked or overstretched, it can become inflamed, causing plantar fasciitis. Treatment for this condition typically includes anti-inflammatory medications, exercises, rest and splints. If you have plantar fasciitis, ask your doctor how taping and exercise can help your symptoms.
Plantar Fasciitis Taping
Talk with your orthopedic doctor or a physical therapist about your plantar fasciitis and whether taping it is a viable option for you. Taping your foot helps give support to the plantar fascia and facilitates a supportive arch.
To tape your foot for this condition, get 1-inch athletic tape, wrap a strip around the foot, starting at the fifth toe joint and around the heel to the first toe joint, recommends Northcoast Foot Care. Then use 2-inch athletic tape, and starting at the outside of the foot, wrap strips along the arch while holding down the big toe joint, states Northcoast. At least three strips of tape should be used on the arch of the foot, with another strip of 1-inch tape around the foot to hold the strips in place. Check with your doctor to make sure you are doing it correctly; there are many ways you can tape your foot, and she might have other suggestions.
Plantar fasciitis pain may be aggravated by tight calf muscles, says the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). By stretching your calves, you may be able to relieve some pain associated with this condition. Lean forward against a wall, keeping one knee straight with the heel on the ground, and the other foot in front, with the knee bent, recommends the AAOS. Push your hips forward to stretch the calf and heel muscles, hold for 10 seconds and relax. Do this 20 times for each foot. You should be able to feel a small strain and pull in your calf muscle when you stretch.
Plantar Fascia Stretch
To stretch the plantar fascia, the AAOS recommends sitting down and crossing your affected foot over the knee of your other leg. Hold the toes of the affected foot and slowly pull the toes toward you. If you cannot reach your foot or it is difficult to do so, get a towel and wrap it around your big toe to pull your toes toward you. Put your other hand on the plantar fascia and hold this for 10 seconds,. Do this 20 times for each foot. The best time to do this exercise is in the morning, before you have done any walking or movement.
Plantar fasciitis is a serious orthopaedic condition. If you think you have plantar fasciitis or have been told you have the condition, do not attempt any exercises or taping until you have talked with your treatment team about it. They may have special precautions or suggestions for you, based on your situation. Stretching improperly may cause more damage, so it is important to learn how to do the exercises properly.