Stretching Posts


PF was a big problem for me, and I initially blamed it on changing shoes. Someone finally pointed out that stretching my calves more would allow them to absorb impact that my foot/arch would do otherwise. When I do the stretching I don't have any problems; when I don't the punishment is usually immediate. I'd rather fix something like this with a different behavior instead of guessing which shoes will actually do the job for me or orthotics.

Your mileage may vary.



I had a similar problem with PF - also pretty much corrected with prop stretching my calves. I was training for my first marathon at the tim mileage was about 50 a week - wearing my running shoes all day as oppo going barefoot seemed to help, as well. Good luck - Susi


Part of your problem may be the result of tight calf muscles and hamstrings. Unfortunately it's hard to stretch them properly when the plantar fascia are acting up without making the fasciitis worse. (Even harder when you have plantar fasciitis *and* achilles tendinitis, my current situation.)


I had plantar fasciitis last year -- total agony. I went to an orthopedic surgeon who works extensively with professional athletes - i.e., people who are not going to stop. He gave me a program of cold massages and stretching that I could do easily at home along with some very thin unobtrusive heel cups for my shoes. After 6 months the pain is gone and is staying gone. I agree with one of the other respondents -- get a second opinion -- you don't have to stop or shoot yourself up with steroids.

Good luck


You feel discomfort after you have not been moving because the affected area is "cold" and tight.

Stretching the area, using a stride stretch, make sure your toes are lined up with your knees, will help increase your flexibility in that area. That should help to decrease your symptoms.

While you are feeling the pain, do not go barefoot. Always wear shoes.


>Are those devices that help you to stretch your calf and achilles any >good, or are they just gimmicks? I'm talking in particular about the Step >Stretch by Prism Technology and the Flex-Wedge. Thanks for your help.

. Get a plywood board about 18" square. Place it next to a wall on the floor. Raise the side away from the wall with a couple of books or something. You can adjust the height with different numbers of books.

Stand on it with your back against the wall.


Stretching - and lots of it - should probably be moved higher up the list. I used three separate stretching exercises and stretched probably about an hour over the course of a day... and never had to do hardly any of this other stuff (maybe I just got lucky). I still do these stretches (to a lesser degree)... a year and a half later. It's worth getting some advice on proper stretching form. Minor form adjustments turned my basic I-don't-feel-that-at-all stretching into Oh-my-gosh-I-had-no-idea-I-was-that-tight stretches!

Another thing my physical therapist suggested was to step on and put a bit of weight on a tennis ball and roll it around first thing in the morning (probably a variation on the ice cup/water bottle theme). It's soft enough to give, rolls in all directions which'll massage the area in different ways, and may hurt a little as it breaks up any scar tissue you may be forming. I took one to work and rolled arund on it after getting up from my chair periodically. (snip)

Nice article on PF! My sympathies to anyone struggling with it...


For those of you visually oriented, picture the bones of the foot as a bow (as in bow and arrow), and picture the fascia as the bowstring. What happens when you step down on the foot? the fascia stretches (like a bowstring). This is why it starts to tear at the heel.

This is also why it hurts most first thing in the morning... you are reinjuring it as you get out of bed. This is also why it may not hurt when you run... if it's warmed up and loosened, the tearing may not be occurring..

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