How to fix fasci­itis

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - #walk1000miles Update -

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

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