There are 206 bones in the human body and 52 of them are in the feet. Most people tend to take their feet for granted – walking, running, hiking, etc., until one day they’re out of commission. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that spans the surface on the bottom of your foot. It connects from the heel to all five toes. This fibrous tissue commonly becomes stressed and irritated during the spring months as people become more active outdoors.
Studies show 3 out of 4 people will suffer from disabling foot pain at some point in their lifetime. Plantar fasciitis (pain at the bottom of the heel) is commonly the result of chronic misaligned bones in the foot. When one or more of the 26 foot bones lose their healthy alignment it causes stress and irritation on the plantar fascia.
After your feet have been adjusted there are a few stretches that can be helpful in alleviating the stress your feet. Here are two that can be helpful in reducing the stress you experience in your feet while walking or running. These two stretches are very similar to each other but are distinctly different in that they stretch two separate muscles.
Both stretches will affect the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. These two stretches are commonly referred to as a calf stretch or “runner’s stretch”. The difference between the two is that one will be performed with the knee locked straight into extension and the other with the knee bent/flexed.
The first stretch with the knee extended will affect the primary calf muscle known as the gastrocnemius. The second stretch with the knee flexed will affect the deeper muscle known as the soleus.
It is important to stretch both of these muscles on a regular basis. Especially after prolonged periods of walking or running. However if you experience any pain in your ankle or lower extremity while doing these stretches, you should discontinue immediately. Pain may be indicative of a potential health problem and you should have that evaluated.
If you have experienced foot pain or stress and haven’t had your feet adjusted, then you may want to consider getting a checkup at our clinic this spring. We will evaluate your feet for imbalances and misalignments of the 26 bones.
When there is an alignment issue or an underlying condition with the foot structure, we can often detect those problems during an examination.