cycling helps you stay active with plantar fasciitis | Lee's Summit podiatristPlantar fasciitis is characterized by thickening of the plantar fascia—the tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes. This common foot condition can make exercise challenging. However, staying active is crucial for your overall well-being. Regular exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, strengthens your muscles, reduces your risk of developing long-term chronic illness, and improves your overall mental well-being. 

Dr. Joel Foster has seen the benefits of an active lifestyle firsthand. A former competitive rugby player in college and on the amateur level with the University of Kansas and Kansas City Blues Rugby Club, he spends his free time snowboarding, sailing, and hiking. In his Lee’s Sumit podiatry practice, he provides the personalized care patients with plantar fasciitis need to manage their pain so they can get back to making the most of each day. 

Activities That Are Recommended for People With Plantar Fasciitis

People with plantar fasciitis often find that low-impact exercises are easiest to manage because they minimize stress on the feet. Examples of low-impact activities you may want to try include:

  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Rowing
  • Pilates
  • Resistance training
  • Non-weight-bearing exercises
  • Balance exercises

Regularly stretching the calf muscles and the plantar fascia to improve flexibility and reduce tension is recommended as part of your overall fitness routine, as are exercises such as toe curls and calf raises that can help strengthen the feet and ankles. 

For people with plantar fasciitis, wearing supportive shoes with appropriate arch support is essential. Orthotics can offer additional benefits such as providing targeted support, adding cushioning, alleviating pressure points, and improving foot biomechanics. Our Better Feet package offers an affordable and convenient way to get the orthotics you need. This all-in-one service includes an initial comprehensive office visit with onsite X-rays of both feet, an ultrasound of both feet to visualize the plantar fascial band, a prefabricated pair of orthotics, and a custom pair of orthotics

Activities You May Want to Avoid for Plantar Fasciitis

If you have plantar fasciitis, you’ll want to stay clear of high-impact activities that involve running, jumping, and abrupt movements. These can intensify the pain and inflammation associated with your condition.

Discomfort or pain while exercising, particularly when dealing with a condition like plantar fasciitis, should not be ignored or pushed through. Pain is the body's way of signaling that something is wrong. Pushing through pain during exercise can worsen an existing condition, lead to further injury, and prolong recovery.

If you are new to exercising, it’s important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity or duration of activity. Listen to your body and avoid pushing through severe pain.

Advanced Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis

Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT) can help treat plantar fasciitis pain by using high-energy acoustic pressure waves to stimulate the body's natural healing process. In almost all cases, EPAT can help people with plantar fasciitis avoid surgery. In fact, since his office began offering EPAT and other advanced treatment options, Dr. Foster has not needed to perform one surgical procedure related to plantar fascial pain.

If your plantar fasciitis is caused by misaligned feet and you’re also struggling with knee, back, and hip pain, Dr. Foster may recommend the HyProCure procedure. This FDA-approved minimally invasive procedure involves placing a medical-grade titanium stent in the sinus tarsi—a small space between two foot bones. This stent stabilizes the joint to correct the misalignment in the bones of the back half of the foot which can lead to hyperpronation.

Dr. Foster is committed to providing the personalized care you need to reclaim your mobility and continue engaging in the activities you love. And, since his office uses a direct-pay model, you’re free to choose the treatment that is most effective for your unique needs without worrying about the limitations of your insurance coverage. 

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