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Stretching - any comments?

Posted by Susan on 1/28/01 at 07:10 (037566)

I've been a PF sufferer for 18 months now and tried most of the typical solutions - except stretching. I've been told over and over again to stretch the calf and hamstring. After experiencing major calf cramps and charlie horses that woke me up, I finally did them and was amazed at the relief. I'm sold on stretching. As well I want to share an informative site (not for the stretches).
http://webmd.lycos.com/content/dmk/dmk_article_40037

Re: Stretching - any comments?

Bill E. on 1/29/01 at 05:43 (037628)

My PF seems not to be quite the traditional type. First off, it isn't as severely painful as most people. But I find stretchng to be very useful. Not so much for the immediate relief as for generally feeling better later in the day. My biggest problem is that I forget about it and don't do it in the middle of the day. I think that I should stretch at least 4 times per day. Just my prejudice!
Maybe it would be useful to start a list of useful stretches or peoples opinions of what is useful here. I'll start with a few.

I stretch my calves, hamstrings and faschia by sitting on the floor, leg out strait, and putting a towel around the toes. I pull back on the towel while leaning forward. I get a good stretch in the calf and hamstring. I gently hold this for about 15 sec then slowly stretch more and more with deep breathing.
A simple plantar faschia stretch: Just bend your toes back (with your hands) until you get a good stretch. I do this with one hand and then with the other, lightly massage the pf. I can actually feel it as a band, under the skin in the center of my foot.
This one is a little wierd but seems to help me a lot. I think it is related to the first. Lie on my back, one leg bent (i.e., foot pulled up near my butt) the other leg (one to be stretched) straight. I raise the leg up until it is as high as I can, getting a good hamstring stretch, point the toes towards my head, i.e., don't point at the ceiling. I then just stretch by pulling the leg more towards my torso and kind of stretching the foot more towards my head, with a little turning of the ankle. I keep my head on the floor (mat) and relax my back, I don't want to create a back problem as an alternative to PF.

I wish I could draw these, they might make more sense. Maybe some physical therapists will comment on some of the pros and cons of some of these stretches. I believe that stretching is kind of personal, depending on flexibility, strength, weight, etc. It may also be slightly psychological, yoga really helps me but as much psyche as body!

I have several others that I do but these are my favorites.
Bill

Re: Stretching - any comments?

Susan on 1/29/01 at 18:53 (037692)

Bill, Thanks so much for the stretching exercises. I've got a list of stretches for calf and hamstring but not these - so I'll try them. I'll enter my stretches in a bit; I just don't have the time right now. I'd love to know how to tape properly. It looks so complicated in the illustrations in the book. Do you tape?

Re: Stretching - any comments?

Dr/Kosova on 1/29/01 at 22:16 (037703)

Bill ,

This is waht I posted last week. The strecthes of the pf and calves are perfect. Most people wont strecth their hamstrings etc but would do better if they would. Everyone should practice these strecthes. Great Job!!

Dr. Kosova

P.S. My Patients that strecth almost always do better

Re: Stretching - any comments?

Julie on 1/30/01 at 09:41 (037727)

Susan, Bill's stretches do sound good. I like the sound of them because they are not weight-bearing and thus easier to control: I've grown very dubious about the classic weight-bearing stretches for foot-pain sufferers.

I'm an enthusiastic taper, so perhaps I can help you here. It gives good support to the arch (the support that it has lost due to the tearing of the fascia) and it is really worth trying. Like Scott, I've found that it has helped me enormously. I use his simple, two-strip method (two strips of tape connecting the ball and the heel). I couldn't believe that it would be as effective as my pod's interminable wrapping around in all directions, but it does - at least it gives me the support that I need.

It's very easy to apply (and more economical on tape than the more complex methods. You need to use good tape (I use Leuko tape, but don't know if it's available in the States), and you need to experiment with tension. I find that if I keep my foot dorsiflexed (toes pulled back) while I apply it, the tension is just right. With my foot in neutral, the tape is too tight when I stand and walk. How you do it depends on how much tension you need - it shouldn't take long to find out.

Like Scott, I would advise removing it every night so that the skin can breathe and so you can moisturize it and prevent dryness. This is the only unpleasant part - not taking the tape off, though you need to do it carefully, but removing the residue with lighter fluid. Otherwise you stick to everything, - socks, the floor, your bedclothes.

I hope this helps. Let us know how you get on.

Julie

I

Re: Stretching - any comments?

Susan on 1/30/01 at 09:52 (037729)

Julie, thanks for the tips on taping. I'll get the tape and try it. Everyone's so helpful on this board - I love it. I'll be away for a couple of days, so see you all when I get back.

Re: More on Stretching - any comments?

Bill E. on 1/30/01 at 11:02 (037741)

I have become a believer in stretching and I sure hope that it helps my PF as well as other minor disorders. I usually stretch pretty hard and find that by deep breathing I can extend both the degree and time of the stretch. I also use 'stretches' or relaxation after a hard stretch to feel better. The stretches that I posted below are kind of 'non-standard' though the faschia stretch was recommended by my physical therapist.

Another non-standard one that seems to help me, though I am not quite sure exactly why. This one is kind of hard for me to describe so bare with me. Get on all fours on a mat (or thick carpet) i.e., hands and knees with your legs placed so the knees are on the ground and toes also.. Hands just under your shoulders and knees about 2-3 inches apart. I think that my body forms a rectangle with the floor. Take the right foot and place it adjacent to and outside the right hand. Then lean back until your left buttock is resting on your left heel. This doesn't seem to make sense when writing, but try to do it! This gives me a very strong stretch in the lower part of my thigh, knee, and hamstrings. The extent of the stretch can be controlled by moving the hands closer or farther from your knees. During the stretch you will have one foot forward, the other leg (kind of) on the ground, hands forward.

I also use the relatively standard 'weight bearing' stretches and they help too. Some of those are easy to do while waiting somewhere. Another comment is that I have been running for 30 years and so my hamstrings seem to be pretty tight. Sometimes I wonder if this isn't one of the major contributions to my PF (as I aged). However, my quads are very stretched out, to the point that it is hard for me to stretch them.

Re: Stretching - any comments?

Bill E. on 1/29/01 at 05:43 (037628)

My PF seems not to be quite the traditional type. First off, it isn't as severely painful as most people. But I find stretchng to be very useful. Not so much for the immediate relief as for generally feeling better later in the day. My biggest problem is that I forget about it and don't do it in the middle of the day. I think that I should stretch at least 4 times per day. Just my prejudice!
Maybe it would be useful to start a list of useful stretches or peoples opinions of what is useful here. I'll start with a few.

I stretch my calves, hamstrings and faschia by sitting on the floor, leg out strait, and putting a towel around the toes. I pull back on the towel while leaning forward. I get a good stretch in the calf and hamstring. I gently hold this for about 15 sec then slowly stretch more and more with deep breathing.
A simple plantar faschia stretch: Just bend your toes back (with your hands) until you get a good stretch. I do this with one hand and then with the other, lightly massage the pf. I can actually feel it as a band, under the skin in the center of my foot.
This one is a little wierd but seems to help me a lot. I think it is related to the first. Lie on my back, one leg bent (i.e., foot pulled up near my butt) the other leg (one to be stretched) straight. I raise the leg up until it is as high as I can, getting a good hamstring stretch, point the toes towards my head, i.e., don't point at the ceiling. I then just stretch by pulling the leg more towards my torso and kind of stretching the foot more towards my head, with a little turning of the ankle. I keep my head on the floor (mat) and relax my back, I don't want to create a back problem as an alternative to PF.

I wish I could draw these, they might make more sense. Maybe some physical therapists will comment on some of the pros and cons of some of these stretches. I believe that stretching is kind of personal, depending on flexibility, strength, weight, etc. It may also be slightly psychological, yoga really helps me but as much psyche as body!

I have several others that I do but these are my favorites.
Bill

Re: Stretching - any comments?

Susan on 1/29/01 at 18:53 (037692)

Bill, Thanks so much for the stretching exercises. I've got a list of stretches for calf and hamstring but not these - so I'll try them. I'll enter my stretches in a bit; I just don't have the time right now. I'd love to know how to tape properly. It looks so complicated in the illustrations in the book. Do you tape?

Re: Stretching - any comments?

Dr/Kosova on 1/29/01 at 22:16 (037703)

Bill ,

This is waht I posted last week. The strecthes of the pf and calves are perfect. Most people wont strecth their hamstrings etc but would do better if they would. Everyone should practice these strecthes. Great Job!!

Dr. Kosova

P.S. My Patients that strecth almost always do better

Re: Stretching - any comments?

Julie on 1/30/01 at 09:41 (037727)

Susan, Bill's stretches do sound good. I like the sound of them because they are not weight-bearing and thus easier to control: I've grown very dubious about the classic weight-bearing stretches for foot-pain sufferers.

I'm an enthusiastic taper, so perhaps I can help you here. It gives good support to the arch (the support that it has lost due to the tearing of the fascia) and it is really worth trying. Like Scott, I've found that it has helped me enormously. I use his simple, two-strip method (two strips of tape connecting the ball and the heel). I couldn't believe that it would be as effective as my pod's interminable wrapping around in all directions, but it does - at least it gives me the support that I need.

It's very easy to apply (and more economical on tape than the more complex methods. You need to use good tape (I use Leuko tape, but don't know if it's available in the States), and you need to experiment with tension. I find that if I keep my foot dorsiflexed (toes pulled back) while I apply it, the tension is just right. With my foot in neutral, the tape is too tight when I stand and walk. How you do it depends on how much tension you need - it shouldn't take long to find out.

Like Scott, I would advise removing it every night so that the skin can breathe and so you can moisturize it and prevent dryness. This is the only unpleasant part - not taking the tape off, though you need to do it carefully, but removing the residue with lighter fluid. Otherwise you stick to everything, - socks, the floor, your bedclothes.

I hope this helps. Let us know how you get on.

Julie

I

Re: Stretching - any comments?

Susan on 1/30/01 at 09:52 (037729)

Julie, thanks for the tips on taping. I'll get the tape and try it. Everyone's so helpful on this board - I love it. I'll be away for a couple of days, so see you all when I get back.

Re: More on Stretching - any comments?

Bill E. on 1/30/01 at 11:02 (037741)

I have become a believer in stretching and I sure hope that it helps my PF as well as other minor disorders. I usually stretch pretty hard and find that by deep breathing I can extend both the degree and time of the stretch. I also use 'stretches' or relaxation after a hard stretch to feel better. The stretches that I posted below are kind of 'non-standard' though the faschia stretch was recommended by my physical therapist.

Another non-standard one that seems to help me, though I am not quite sure exactly why. This one is kind of hard for me to describe so bare with me. Get on all fours on a mat (or thick carpet) i.e., hands and knees with your legs placed so the knees are on the ground and toes also.. Hands just under your shoulders and knees about 2-3 inches apart. I think that my body forms a rectangle with the floor. Take the right foot and place it adjacent to and outside the right hand. Then lean back until your left buttock is resting on your left heel. This doesn't seem to make sense when writing, but try to do it! This gives me a very strong stretch in the lower part of my thigh, knee, and hamstrings. The extent of the stretch can be controlled by moving the hands closer or farther from your knees. During the stretch you will have one foot forward, the other leg (kind of) on the ground, hands forward.

I also use the relatively standard 'weight bearing' stretches and they help too. Some of those are easy to do while waiting somewhere. Another comment is that I have been running for 30 years and so my hamstrings seem to be pretty tight. Sometimes I wonder if this isn't one of the major contributions to my PF (as I aged). However, my quads are very stretched out, to the point that it is hard for me to stretch them.