Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Toe exercise

Posted by Steve M on 10/28/01 at 15:06 (063735)

Could someone please tell me about toe position when stretching my foot. I have been doing alot of stretching while sitting in my bed(first thing in AM) where I pull my foot towards me using a tera band or towel with my leg straight in font of me. I feel a good stretch in my calf and achiles tendon. While I am doing this I have been pointing my toes toward my head as much as possible and feel a stretch in by plantar facia and bottom of foot. My wife thinks that by pointing my toes toward me head I am tearing the plantar facia and causing pain.

Any thoughts on this would be helpful

Thanks

Re: Toe exercise

JudyS on 10/29/01 at 09:31 (063753)

Steve - your wife may be closer than she thinks with her idea.....while you may not be actually 'tearing' the Plantar, there's a chance that you are overstretching it by being aggressive first thing in the morning. That overstretching in turn can cause more inflammation - it's sort of a Catch-22. The real idea, some here have found, in the AM is to loosen the Plantar, lower leg and ankle before getting up because that 'first step' stiffness is the worst moment of the day for plantar fasciitis. Many times here we've tried to differentiate between 'loosen' and 'stretch' because many of us have found that aggressive stretching only made things worse - as your wife suggests. You might want to consider the term 'loosen' in the mornings while you're going through your routine......perhaps not using the band or towel at all and just mildly holding your feet at a 90-degree angle for a count of 5 several times followed by mile ankle circles and repeating that routine three or four times until you really feel a looseness. Then be sure to slip in to footwear as soon as you get up - bare feet, in the morning especially, is way bad!

Re: Toe exercise

Julie on 10/30/01 at 03:01 (063799)

I agrgee with your wife: don't pull on your toes. From what you say it sounds as though what you are doing is painful, and yes, you can pull too hard on the fascia and make your condition worse. When you do use a towel or theraband, place it around the ball of your foot, not around your toes, and leave your toes in 'neutral' .

Re: Toe exercise/Julie

john h on 10/30/01 at 08:25 (063807)

For PF julie pulling on the toes would seem to be a bad idea but I will mention one condition that pulling up on the toes is an absolute necessity and that is after surgery for hallux limitus. I had this surgery several years ago and it is essential to pull up on the great toe almost immediately to regain movement in that joint. My doctor suggested i use a small gauge rope to pull up on the toe several times each day. I called it the Rope of Pain as this really hurt. Prior to surgery i could not move my great toe one degree about level. After surgery and my rope pulling up on the great toe i now have about 20 or more degrees of flexion.

Re: Toe exercise/Julie

paula on 10/30/01 at 09:57 (063821)

huh, don't pull on toes? my p t has me pulling my toes every which way a lot. this is maddening. do this , don't do this, do this. oy.

Re: Toe exercise/Julie

john h on 11/04/01 at 11:57 (064099)

paula: it is sort of like being married is it not?

Re: Toe exercise

JudyS on 10/29/01 at 09:31 (063753)

Steve - your wife may be closer than she thinks with her idea.....while you may not be actually 'tearing' the Plantar, there's a chance that you are overstretching it by being aggressive first thing in the morning. That overstretching in turn can cause more inflammation - it's sort of a Catch-22. The real idea, some here have found, in the AM is to loosen the Plantar, lower leg and ankle before getting up because that 'first step' stiffness is the worst moment of the day for plantar fasciitis. Many times here we've tried to differentiate between 'loosen' and 'stretch' because many of us have found that aggressive stretching only made things worse - as your wife suggests. You might want to consider the term 'loosen' in the mornings while you're going through your routine......perhaps not using the band or towel at all and just mildly holding your feet at a 90-degree angle for a count of 5 several times followed by mile ankle circles and repeating that routine three or four times until you really feel a looseness. Then be sure to slip in to footwear as soon as you get up - bare feet, in the morning especially, is way bad!

Re: Toe exercise

Julie on 10/30/01 at 03:01 (063799)

I agrgee with your wife: don't pull on your toes. From what you say it sounds as though what you are doing is painful, and yes, you can pull too hard on the fascia and make your condition worse. When you do use a towel or theraband, place it around the ball of your foot, not around your toes, and leave your toes in 'neutral' .

Re: Toe exercise/Julie

john h on 10/30/01 at 08:25 (063807)

For PF julie pulling on the toes would seem to be a bad idea but I will mention one condition that pulling up on the toes is an absolute necessity and that is after surgery for hallux limitus. I had this surgery several years ago and it is essential to pull up on the great toe almost immediately to regain movement in that joint. My doctor suggested i use a small gauge rope to pull up on the toe several times each day. I called it the Rope of Pain as this really hurt. Prior to surgery i could not move my great toe one degree about level. After surgery and my rope pulling up on the great toe i now have about 20 or more degrees of flexion.

Re: Toe exercise/Julie

paula on 10/30/01 at 09:57 (063821)

huh, don't pull on toes? my p t has me pulling my toes every which way a lot. this is maddening. do this , don't do this, do this. oy.

Re: Toe exercise/Julie

john h on 11/04/01 at 11:57 (064099)

paula: it is sort of like being married is it not?