What activities should I avoid with plantar fasciitis?

Answered by Tom Adger

When dealing with plantar fasciitis, it’s important to avoid activities that can worsen the condition and cause more pain. While staying active is important for overall health, certain exercises can put strain on the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that connects your heel to your toes. These activities include high-impact exercises such as running, jumping, or any form of exercise that causes pain in your foot.

Running and jumping activities can place excessive stress on the plantar fascia, aggravating the condition and potentially causing further damage. It’s best to give your foot time to heal and avoid these activities until the pain subsides.

In addition to running and jumping, exercises that involve repetitive impact on the foot, such as aerobic dance classes or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, should also be avoided. These activities can put strain on the plantar fascia and worsen the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

It’s important to listen to your body and pay attention to any pain or discomfort in your foot. If an exercise or activity causes pain, it’s best to modify or avoid it altogether until your foot has fully healed. Pushing through the pain can lead to further inflammation and prolong the healing process.

Instead of high-impact exercises, consider incorporating low-impact activities into your workout routine. These exercises can help maintain your fitness level and keep you active without exacerbating your plantar fasciitis. Some low-impact exercises to consider include:

1. Swimming: Swimming is a great full-body workout that puts minimal stress on your feet. It provides cardiovascular benefits and can help strengthen your muscles without aggravating your plantar fascia.

2. Cycling: Cycling is a low-impact exercise that can help improve cardiovascular fitness and strengthen leg muscles. Whether you prefer indoor cycling on a stationary bike or outdoor cycling, this activity can be a good alternative to running or jumping.

3. Elliptical trainer: Using an elliptical trainer can provide a low-impact cardiovascular workout while minimizing stress on your plantar fascia. Make sure to use proper form and avoid pushing yourself too hard.

4. Yoga or Pilates: These exercises focus on stretching, flexibility, and core strength. They can be beneficial for improving overall body strength and balance without putting excessive strain on your foot.

5. Strength training: Incorporating strength training exercises that target your upper body, core, and non-affected leg muscles can help maintain muscle tone and overall fitness while giving your foot a chance to heal.

Remember, everyone’s experience with plantar fasciitis may vary, so it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist or physical therapist, to get personalized recommendations based on your specific condition and needs. They can guide you on the appropriate exercises to do and provide additional treatments or therapies to help alleviate your symptoms.