So what do you do for Plantar Fasciitis? There are a variety of things a doctor might have you try such as ice, taping, wearing heel pads, orthotics, flexibility exercises, physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, and possibly even surgery. My doc had me put heel cups in my shoes and he gave me a couple of stretching exercises to do. One involved putting a towel on the floor in front of my foot and using my toes to scrunch up the towel and draw it toward me. The other exercise involved slowly flexing my toes back, stretching the plantar fascia. All of this helped, but the thing that helped bring the most relief was a little gadget called a Foot Wheel.
The Foot Wheel falls into that ever growing "Why Didn't I Think of That" category of mine. Basically it's a small metal rod that's about 4-inches long. There's a hard plastic wheel in the middle and one on each end of the bar. How does it work? Place the wheel on the floor and then roll your foot across the wheels. That's it! I've read where you can do the same basic thing by rolling your foot along a soup can or a tennis ball. I've tried these methods and both helped, but with the Foot Wheel, I was able to really hit those pressure points getting a better stretch of the plantar fascia.
If you're experiencing plantar fasciitis, then be prepared the first time you use the foot wheel. It hurts like hell! But bite the bullet and roll your foot (the entire length) along the wheel making sure to hit all the pressure points. After a few days, the pain while using the wheel started to subside and better yet, I started to notice my plantar fasciitis symptoms disappear. I had my first and only case of plantar fascitis about 7 years ago. I've used my lil foot wheel every night since then. I keep it beside my bed and the last thing I do before hitting the hay is to roll both feet several times along the wheel. I really do believe that doing this has helped keep my platar fascia limber and injury-free (knock on wood). Making sure I don't pack too many miles on any one pair of shoes has also helped. You see, my plantar fasciitis was the result of running a really long run on an old pair of worn out shoes. Never a good idea.
I've seen the Foot Wheel sold at marathon expos and at several different online running sites. I bought mine online at RoadRunnerSports.
For more detailed information regarding plantar fasciitis, check out the video clip below.