How to fix fasciitis
In response to Allison Bond’s plea for help with plantar fasciitis – I’m a retired GP, hill walker and distance runner. I’ve found repeatedly through personal experience and my patients that the following additional measures provide excellent medium and long-term relief.
First, it’s important to strengthen the intrinsic foot muscles using two simple exercises: picking up a pencil from the floor with your toes (by curling them around the pencil); and pulling yourself along the floor by repeatedly clenching and relaxing the toes while standing upright (this does not work while wearing shoes).
Second, avoid walking on hard surfaces in bare feet as this leads to excessive stress to the longitudinal arch of the foot.
Third, perform regular stretching of the calf muscles – best done when the muscles are warm and easily achieved by standing on the edge of a step with about two thirds of both feet off the back of the step. Very gently lower the heels downwards until the stretch becomes mildly uncomfortable and hold that for around 20 to 30 seconds. This should be done first with both knees straight and then with the knees slightly bent.
As with all exercises for persistent or recurring conditions these measures should be used regularly if they are to be fully effective. I hope they help to give Allison and other fellow sufferers many years of happy and pain-free walking. Dr Peter J Banyard, Appleton