Getting To The Gym When You Have Foot Pain

admin   December 1, 2015   Comments Off on Getting To The Gym When You Have Foot Pain

outdoor stretch

Plantar Fasciitis flareups can last a really long time, and though we try to take it easy at first, there’s only so much resting and icing a person can take! This is especially the case for runners, but the truth is that all Plantar Fasciitis sufferers need to start to exercise at some point.

Most sufferers will experience the most acute pain when they first get up and out of bed in the morning. The pressure of your body weight causes the plantar fascia to stretch to its full extent much too suddenly, and that can result in a fresh flare-up every morning. While good nutrition and a decent protein shake in your mixer go a long way to healing your body from the inside, A quick warm-up exercise routine can help get your feet off to the best possible start.

The Cool Hundred – 100 Stretches To Do Before You Rise

It sounds like a lot, but the whole routine only takes a couple of minutes and the resulting looseness in your plantar fascia is well worth the investment. These exercises are meant to help you improve your pain, however (and especially if your pain doesn’t subside when you do them), it’s always important to talk to a good podiatrist about starting any new routine.

25 Toe Scrunch and Splay

Before you get up, before you put any weight on your feet at all, first sit on the edge of your bed with your feet lifted off the floor. Scrunch your toes tight as if you’re making fists with your toes, then splay them upwards in the opposite motion. Do 25 scrunches and 25 splays with both feet.

25 self-mobilizing foot flexes

Rest one ankle on the opposite knee, weave the fingers of the opposite hand between your toes, while you support the heel with the same-side hand. Use your hand to flex the toes, adding a little extra pressure to stretch out that fascia. Then pull the toes downwards into an assisted scrunch. Do this whole movement 25 times.

25 Ball Rolls

Using a small, hard ball such as a baseball or street hockey ball, place both feet on the ground while still sitting. Put the ball under one foot, and exert a medium amount of pressure as you roll your foot straight backwards and forwards over the ball, all the way from your toes to your heel and back, 25 times on each foot.

25 Heel And Toe Raises

with both feet flat on the floor, start to shift your weight onto them as you raise your toes then your heels 25 times. Increase the pressure as you go on, until you’re standing while you raise your toes. Then put your toes down and raise your heels so that you’re up on your toes, and end up standing up next to your bed.

Once you’re up, you should feel that the pain you used to experience has diminished a lot. Take your time so you don’t over-stretch, but you should find that you’re able to do more in the way of exercise after warming up your feet in this way. If you don’t, it’s time to book your next podiatrist visit!

Exercises To Focus On 

At the gym, don’t go straight to the treadmill during a flareup! This is the time to use the weight machines for strengthening the rest of your body, as you’ll often be seated or supported while you isolate muscle groups. Anything that keeps the weight off your feet is acceptable, just make sure that you’re not creating an imbalance by focussing on just one body area.

When muscle building, it’s important to nourish your body while still at the gym with a good sports nutrition shake to help build lean muscles while reducing inflammation.

Other Exercise Options

Pilates, especially mat work based classes, will lengthen and tone your body without putting too much pressure on the feet. Be careful when you do Yoga however, as some moves (Downward dog, Warrior, etc) can cause quite a strong stretch to the foot and may cause more pain.

Taking care during a flare-up will allow your feet to heal faster and more thoroughly, so that you’re able to fully return to your previous level of activity.


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3 Simple Hacks To Kickstart Your Weight Loss

admin   November 21, 2015   Comments Off on 3 Simple Hacks To Kickstart Your Weight Loss


woman drinking water


This week the talk is all about how Standing Six Hours a Day Reduces Risk of Obesity by One-Third, thanks to an article on Mercola quoting research from the Mayo Clinic, Arizona State University, and Oxford University. Specifically, standing for a quarter of your day (ie 6 hours a day) reduces your risk of becoming obese by 1/3rd.

Weight, standing, and Plantar Fasciitis are connected for many people, and without the ability to stand and exercise properly, the cycle of weight gain and foot pain can become a vicious one. The question comes up often in my practice – if my weight causes my plantar fasciitis, but I can’t even stand without pain, how am I ever going to lose weight?

The following simple hacks will get you started on your weight loss journey. Once you start to lose those first pounds, you’ll flip the switch from a downward spiral, to a cycle of continuous improvement.

1 – Drink More Water

Water is the number 1 catalyst to weight loss. Drinking an extra 1.5 liters of water per day increases your metabolism by 30%, leading to an extra weight loss of 5lb per year, according to German researchers.

Not only that, but water carries nutrients into cells, and waste out – so the more water you drink, the less inflammation you’ll have in your body.

Water also helps muscles to contract and relax properly, so any exercise you are able to do will have better results, and your recovery will be faster. And of course many times when we feel hungry we’re actually thirsty, so water can help curb cravings too.

2 – Boost your Metabolism

It doesn’t have to be complicated – give your metabolism a nudge to wake up and start burning by going outside in the sun for 20 minutes a day, first thing in the morning. Let the sun shine on your face (using precautions if you live in a particularly sunny climate!). If you can’t take steps, just stand, lean or sit outdoors. But as your condition improves you can extend this to a 20-minute healing and relaxing walk.

Some foods are known to be metabolism boosters, so make sure to include these in your diet. They include ginger, which can be steeped as a tea, or blended into smoothies. Chili pepper is also known to help you burn more calories, and a fat burning supplement for weight loss like Capsiplex is also a good option at this early stage to get you back on your feet.

3 – Control Your Calories

While a calorie counting diet may not be the best idea for everyone out there, there’s a time and a place. If dropping a few pounds fast is what you need to get back on your feet, this is a good place to start.

Calculate how many calories you need to consume in order to loose weight – there are many websites you can use for this calculation. Most men will come out as needing about 2000 calories, most women around 1600. Now split that number into 4. If your number was 1600, then you will have 4 x 400 calories. The goal is to stick to 400 calories each for breakfast, Lunch and dinner, with 400 left over that you can split into 2 200 calorie snacks.

Another handy trick is to eat more vegetables. Not only will this give your body extra fiber and nutrition to reduce inflammation in general, but giving yourself a rule that vegetables must make up 50% of any meal or snack you consume will inevitably mean that you consume fewer calories.

Weight loss can be daunting, but these simple hacks will get you off to a very good start to help you get the upper hand on your Plantar Fasciitis pain.


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What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

admin   November 18, 2015   Comments Off on What Is Plantar Fasciitis?



Plantar Fasciitis is a painful inflammatory condition where the heel or sometimes the entire base of your foot hurts when you put pressure on it.

The plantar fascia is the flat ligament that covers the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes. It supports the foot’s arch, and if it becomes strained or even torn, it can become inflamed (the “itis” in Plantar Fasciitis), and requires rest and rehab. It can really make life miserable, and is especially debilitating for people who stand at work.

Plantar fasciitis is most common in middle-aged people, but it can also happen in younger people who are on their feet a lot, such as athletes or healthcare workers. It is a fairly common problem for runners, especially new runners or when there’s a significant increase in mileage. It can happen in one foot or two, and can become chronic if ignored.

For most people, the pain starts when they first get out of bed. The stiffness and pain may diminish after a few steps, but it may also hurt more as the day goes on. Climing stairs, or even standing still for long periods of time may cause the pain to get worse.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

  • Pronation – this is a habitual/mechanical issue where your feet roll inward too much when you walk.
  • High arches, but also flat feet.
  • Long periods of walking, standing, or running, especially on hard surfaces.
  • Overweight.
  • Shoes that don’t fit well or are worn out.
  • Tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles.

Other Types Of Foot Pain

Plantar Fasciitis pain usually goes down a lot at night when you’re in bed – if you find your foot pain gets worse at night time, your issue may be Arthritis, a small fracture in the bone, or tarsal tunnel syndrome which is related to the nerves instead of the fascia.


It’s important to see your Dr for a proper diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis. He or she will check your feet and watch you stand and walk. The kind of questions typically asked in order to make the diagnosis include:

  • Health and injury history
  • Symptoms, ie where the pain is, and at what time of day it is worst.
  • How active you are, and what sports or activities you do.
  • If a bone issue such as a stress fracture is suspected, your Dr may take an x-ray.

Self-Help Techniques

Although professional assistance from a sports podiatrist is a must if plantar Fasciitis pain lasts for more than 3 weeks, there are some simple techniques you can do to diminish the pain when you feel it starting.

When the pain is just starting, a strong massage of the bottom of your foot can help. As inflammation is present, icing the area can help too. Putting both together, some athletes like to keep a bottle of water frozen, and use it as a foot roller.

Make sure that you wear adequate footwear with good arch support – not just when you’re running or standing at work, but all day. This is not the time to walk around barefoot or in flimsy shoes or flip-flops.

Treatment Options
Of the pain does persist for more than 3 weeks, a podiatrist will usually suggest a number of treatments which should greatly reduce the pain within 6 weeks. Mechanical treatments can include orthotics, foot taping, and night splints, or if necessary anti-inflammatories or cortisone injections are very effective.

For more stubborn cases you may also be prescribed physical therapy, and long term cases can benefit from shock-wave therapy, an FDA-approved plantar-fasciitis treatment.