More than 50% of Americans suffer from some type of foot pain regularly, and many experience a specific issue in the heel called plantar fasciitis.

This condition occurs when too much strain is placed on the plantar fascia, the ligament connecting the bones at the front of the foot to the heel bone. Thankfully, though, plantar fasciitis isn’t usually serious and can be treated or prevented altogether with just a few simple steps!

Plantar fasciitis occurs when too much strain is placed on the plantar fascia, the thin ligament that connects the heel to the front of the foot. The most common symptom is pain in and around the heel, especially when first waking up in the morning or when standing up.

heel-4Flickr / Esther Max

If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, there are a few easy exercises you can do to help ease the pain!

 Exercise 1: While seated, roll your feet over a water bottle or similarly-shaped object for one minute per foot.

Exercise 2: Again while seated, cross one leg over the other and pull upward on your big toe. Hold the position for about 15 seconds, release, and then repeat three more times. Repeat the entire process for the other foot.

heel-2Changi Sports Medicine Center

Exercise 3: Use a folded towel as an exercise strap, placing it under the arch of your foot and gently pulling it back so that your foot is outstretched in front of you. Hold that position for 15 seconds and then switch to the other foot.

heel-3Blogspot / Carmel Foot Specialists

Those exercises may help if you already have plantar fasciitis, but there are also a number of precautions you can take to ensure that you don’t develop it.

heel-11Tumblr / Cirqued

Precaution 1: Maintain a healthy weight to ensure you don’t put unnecessary pressure or strain on your plantar fascia.

heel-5Flickr / number657

Precaution 2: Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight and ensure your muscles are properly stretched. This will reduce the chances of the ligaments in your feet becoming stiff or overworked. 

heel-6Flickr / Glenn Euloth

Precaution 3: Warm up before exercising to ensure the muscles in your legs aren’t overstretched too quickly.

heel-8Flickr / hosieo

Precaution 4: Wear proper foot support. The shoes we wear have a huge effect on the bones, muscles, and ligaments in our feet. Ill-fitting or worn-out shoes can place unnecessary stress on the heel or other parts of the foot, increasing the chances of a problem occurring later.

heel-7Flickr / John Lustig

Precaution 5: Rest! Making sure you have a proper cool down time after exercising and keeping your physical activity varied so you aren’t always on your feet can help prevent strain and tension in your heels.

heel-9Missy’s Tri Life

Keep yourself safe and healthy with these tips, and pass the the information on!

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