Injuries are common for athletes, forcing them to do through different treatments, from acupuncture to foam rolling. However, the simplest treatments are often the most effective and most convenient as they can be done at home.
An injury in the heel seems like a minor issue, but it may affect the way you walk and the ability to exercise. To be more precise, we`re talking about plantar fasciitis. Besides the physio, which is considered to be the best treatment, there is an easy trick to approach this issue, using a tennis ball and your body weight only.
What is Planters Fasciitis?
Plantar fascia is a thick band f tissue, stretching from the heel bone to the toes. It is susceptible to inflammation, mostly caused by overuse or overstretching.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most prevalent foot conditions, according to Medline Plus. It is manifested by pain in the heel, which makes walking difficult and painful. Heel and foot stretching exercises typically provide a relief and are the most widely used treatments for this condition.
- A tight Achilles tendon
- Long-distance, or downhill running
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Sudden weight gain
- Shoes with soft soles, or poor arch support
- Increased pain in the morning followed by gradual improvement during the day
- Dull ache by the end of the day and further improvement with rest
- Heel Spurs: pointed, hooked or shelf-shaped calcium build-ups on the heel bone
- Pain in the bottom of your heel
- Slight swelling, redness and tenderness on your heel
Maintaining flexibility around the ankle, especially the Achilles tendon and the calf muscles, is the best preventative measure against plantar fasciitis.
The simplest way to test and boost ankle flexibility is to put the toes against the bottom of a wall, keeping the opposite leg staggered behind you. Bend the knee whose foot is touching the wall so that it moves forwards and touches the wall. Keep the foot in front of you and don’t move it while doing this. If the knee touches the wall easily, you have flexible ankles. If not, you need to work to improve its flexibility.
This condition typically takes 6-18 months to improve without treatment. With treatment, it can improve within two months or less.
Treatment helps relieve pain and discomfort by relieving the tightness of the plantar fascia tissue. Stretching exercises alleviate tightness of Achilles tendon and the calf, too.
Tennis Ball Stretch:
Stretching exercises are known to create a pulling feeling in the muscles, without causing any pain.
The tennis ball stretch can be performed at home to treat your tendon.
Start in a seating position. Put the arch of the foot on the tennis ball and roll it back and forth with the arch of the foot. Then, push the foot onto the ball relying on your body weight only. Perform the stretch while standing as the condition improves.