Question:

Dear TAI Experts:

What kind of home fitness equipment can a person with Plantar Fasciitis use?

Answer:

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the under surface of the foot resulting from excessive forces and straining of the arch. This generally results from weakness of the muscles of the foot that support the arch and also from poor external support in the form of footwear.

Strengthening exercises for the feet can easily be performed at home without special equipment. Simply using body weight in the form of heel raises, walking on your toes, and bunching a towel up that is on the floor by curling your toes are some frequently used exercises to strengthen the foot. Rolling the foot on a frozen water bottle or tennis ball can be effective in relieving the soreness and pain associated with the condition.

A physical therapist is qualified to perform an examination of the foot to provide exercises to address specific muscle weakness. They will also perform a biomechanical exam of one’s gait and provide recommendations for proper footwear or orthotic needs for proper external arch support.

Brent McLeod PT, DPT