Foot problems are a common occurrence, especially considering we’re on our feet almost 80% of the day.
Pain in the foot can be associated with any area of the foot including the toes, heels, arches, or soles.
If you’ve been experiencing foot pain – you’ve come to the right place. This one stretch I’m about to reveal can help relieve plantar fasciitis, shin splints, Achilles pain, heel pain, and more!
But first, what causes the foot pain you’re experiencing?
What Are the Different Types of Foot Pain?
There are many reasons why you may be experiencing foot or ankle pain. The first thing to consider is where your pain is located.
Heel Pain: Plantar Fasciitis
If the pain you’re experiencing is in your heel, you may have plantar fasciitis. This happens when the band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes gets inflamed and irritated. The pain usually feels the worst in the morning. You can feel it in your heel or in your arch .
Ankle Pain: Achilles Tendinitis
Achilles tendinitis happens when the Achilles tendon gets overused to the point of injury. This tendon connects the calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to the heel bone. The pain usually begins as a mild ache at the back of the leg or above the heel after running or other sports activity. There may also be tenderness or stiffness, especially in the morning.
Shin Pain: Shin Splints
Shin splints are usually exercise-induced, especially for those involved in vigorous sporting activities or those who are just starting a fitness program. The pain occurs along the inner border of the tibia, where muscles attach to the bone. Having flat feet or abnormally rigid arches can also be a factor that contributes to shin splints.
Other causes for foot pain may or may not include:
- Posterior tibial tendonitis: the most common location of pain is along the course of the posterior tibial tendon (yellow line), which travels along the back and inside of the foot and ankle.
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome: a pain in the ankle, foot, and sometimes toes caused by compression of or damage to the nerve supplying the heel and sole.
- Bunions: a bunion is a painful bony bump that develops on the inside of the foot at the big toe joint.
- Hammertoe: a toe that has an abnormal bend in its middle joint, making the toe bend downward to look like a hammer.
- Metatarsalgia: a condition in which the ball of your foot becomes painful and inflamed.
- Turf toe: an injury that affects the big toe joint. It happens when you bend your big toe too far or too forcefully.
- Morton’s neuroma: a painful condition that affects the ball of your foot, most commonly the area between your third and fourth toes.
For the purposes of this stretch and article, we’ll be focusing on the conditions first described: plantar fasciitis, Achilles pain, and shin splints.
The Stretch to Relieve Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Pain, and Shin Splints
If you exercise, chances are you’ve likely experienced one or more of the following:
- Shin splints
- Achilles tendonitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Compartment syndrome (when excessive pressure builds up inside an enclosed muscle space in the body – in this case, the calves)
- Scar tissue build-up from past sprained or broken ankles
- Limited range of motion in the ankles
Most of the above problems stem from tight muscles in the calves, as well as overuse of the feet. While you may think that stretching your calves before and after exercising is enough to prevent these problems, that often isn’t the case.
The stretching technique below, however, can help address these issues (like plantar fasciitis, heel pain, Achilles pain, shin splints, etc.) caused by tight, restricted fascia in your calves. It is one of the best solutions you’ll ever find, plus, it is quick and saves you time by tackling both sides of the leg.
Doing this stretch once a day until your issues resolve will make your feet, heel, and ankles feel significantly better.
The actual stretching instructions in the video begin at 1:35:
Other Tips & Precautions
1. You may need to rest your foot if you are an avid runner or dancer (at least until the inflammation calms down). Taking about two weeks is suggested, and during that time, plenty of stretching (such as in the video above) and icing the foot and heel area is advised. Taking anti-inflammatory herbs like turmeric and ginger will also help in the long run!
2. Once your heel and foot pain has healed, don’t go right back into your running or dancing. Go slowly back into your activity by working back up to the pace you once exercised at.
3. Make sure you’re getting rest and lots of regular stretching to help keep your calf muscles lose and de-stressed. Also, make sure that you have good support with your shoes so that your body stays free of injury. Barefoot shoes are the most natural, and they are what I use to stay injury-free!
The Bottom Line
Our feet support our body weight throughout the day and act as essential shock absorbers during exercise. It is not hard to see, then, why our feet are highly susceptible to injury.
Three common complaints of the feet and shins include Achilles pain, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints. These issues arise with the overuse of the muscles that support the feet and shins. Unless dealt with properly, the pain can persist for months on end.
If you want to relieve plantar fasciitis and other issues of the foot, this one stretch works wonders. When done correctly, and consistently, you can alleviate some of the pain and pressure in the feet, heels, and shins.