Plantar aspect of the foot is nothing but the sole of the foot. The foot has a thick, fibrous band of tissue called “fascia” extending from the heel to the toes. This tissue supports the muscles on the sole of the foot. Pain on the sole of feet and heel pain are most commonly caused by stretching of this tissue causing inflammation called Plantar Fasciitis.
Stretched and strained muscles of the sole of feet and fasciitis can cause heel spurs and heel pain.It is more common in women than in men. It is commonly seen in athletes, in individuals who stand/walk for several hours in a day, individuals who wear high heels, are overweight, individuals who wear shoes/footwear with thin soles, etc.
Exercises, that help in attaining relief are:
- Stretching exercises of feet, heel (Achilles tendon), calf (lower leg) muscles, etc. primarily help with relief.
- Activities such as swimming, cycling may be a good idea as these do not affect/worsen the pain over the sole of feet because these activities do not cause strain on the muscles of the sole of feet.
- Curling and relaxing of toes, making circular movements at ankles help.
- Avoid running, jumping, walking for a long duration until the pain subsides.
- Sit down, place one foot over the other leg, hold the toes and bend them backward gently. This helps in stretching the sole of the foot.
- Stand facing a wall, place two hands on the wall, place one foot behind the other foot but parallel to each other and lean slightly on the wall with heel still in contact with the ground (without lifting heel above ground), hold for 10 seconds and switch feet. Repeat several times. This helps in stretching calf muscles.
- Sit down and roll foot back and forth on a frozen/ice packed water bottle for a minute and switch to other foot.
- Sit down, place a small folded towel under soles (arches) of foot and pull the towel towards your body by holding the towel ends with both hands for 15-30 seconds, switch feet and repeat.
-Dr. Divya Teja Pasupuleti