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Will Walking Make Plantar Fasciitis Worse?

Posted on Jan 29th 2024

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Will Walking Make Plantar Fasciitis Worse?

Walking is a form of exercise that’s easily attainable for most people — it’s low-impact, requires no equipment, and can be easily modified to increase or decrease difficulty.

But what about people with plantar fasciitis?

The good news is that experiencing plantar fasciitis doesn’t mean you need to stop walking. It’s actually a great way to treat plantar fasciitis — as long as you take a few steps to reduce stress on your feet in the process. The following tips may help improve plantar fasciitis. For a more personalized treatment plan, contact Chronic Care of Richmond today.

  1. Get the Right Gear
  2. One way to decrease the impact on your plantar fascia is to choose comfortable shoes that provide arch support.

    Running shoes may work if you’re planning on brisk walks, but for slower walks or simply walking around throughout the day, find a pair of shoes made specifically for walking. In addition, targeted compression socks can also provide arch support and reduce swelling.

  3. Think Through Your Route
  4. One great thing about walking for exercise is that you can do it anywhere, whether on a scenic outdoor trail, around the block to the corner store, or in circles around your apartment. But when you’re dealing with plantar fasciitis, it’s worth the extra effort to find terrain and routes that will help your healing rather than hinder it.

    Treadmills, asphalt, and concrete are not the best options for someone treating plantar fasciitis — opt for natural surfaces such as grass and dirt trails instead. Relatively soft surfaces decrease stress on the feet, and the variation in terrain can strengthen the stabilizing muscles in the feet and ankles.

    It’s also a good idea to avoid steep hills while you’re recovering to reduce the impact on your plantar fascia and vary your route to prevent overuse injuries.

  5. Don't Overdo It
  6. Walking too fast or for too long can make plantar fasciitis worse. Reduce your stride length to decrease stress on your feet, and walk with soft knees.

    You can also start with shorter distances and slowly increase the length of your walks as plantar fasciitis improves. Alternatively, take several shorter walks throughout the day rather than one long walk.

  7. Care For Your Feet
  8. Preparing before a walk and caring for your feet afterward can go a long way toward recovery.

    Before walking, try rolling out your plantar fascia and calf muscles, doing heel raises, and gently stretching your big toes to help loosen and strengthen the tissue. Ice your feet after a walk to reduce inflammation.

    About 10% of people will experience plantar fasciitis during their life — but 80% of patients improve within a year as long as they receive proper treatment. Whether or not you walked regularly before experiencing plantar fasciitis, walking is a great exercise to add to your fitness regime and your treatment plan. For more help with plantar fasciitis treatment, schedule an appointment with Chronic Care of Richmond today.

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    An image of running and walking footwear - take care of your feet and contact Chronic Care of Richmond if you are in need of help with plantar fasciitis.