Why Do My Heels Hurt?
Plantar Fasciitis: How To Heal The Sole
By Gwen Lawrence
For athletes, this is one of the most common sources of heel pain. Plantar Fascia is a ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. Strain to the fascia weakens it causing pain and swelling in the heel. It is a problem that plagues football players, tennis players, soccer players and basketball players every day.
• High arches or flat feet
• Working, running or standing on hard surfaces
• Tight Achilles tendons
• Tight calves
• Weak inside edge of foot, causing roll in (pronation)
Aside from rest and ice you can take anti inflammatories, ( advil, motrin, aleve, asprin consult your doctor first) to help with an acute case. Power Yoga for Sports takes a standpoint of prevention. There are several defensive approaches.
First, it is important to do several stretches every day.
- Hero’s pose toes tucked, kneel, with your toes tucked under and sit back on your heels. If you have tight knees or injuries to the knees roll up a towel behind the knees to keep from stretching the knee joint too much. This will open the plantar fascia under the toes and deep into the Achilles tendon, as well as the calf. Hold the pose for 2 minutes.
- Hero’s pose toes untucked, kneel with your toes untucked this time the same as above. Doing this variation of the pose will help to stretch the top of the foot creating balance in flexibility, as well as opening the muscles of the shin. Make sure your heels point straight up to the sky to protect the knees. Hold for 2 minutes.
- Downward facing dog pose, put your body in the shape of an upside down “V”, hand shoulders width apart fingers spread hands flat, feet hips width apart and parallel. Once you get a flat back focus on sinking into each calf and holding the stretch for several breaths.
- Perfect lunge forward shift, in a lunge position with right knee in a 90 degree angle, and left leg shooting back straight, have your left heel point straight up to the sky so you are on all 5 toes and are not putting strain on the knee. Keep your arms out to the side like you are walking a tight rope to help your balance. Push off the back toe, pressing your body forward (keep your front knee in a 90 degree angle) 20 times to stretch and strengthen the toes foot ankle Achilles and calf. YOU will LOVE IT!!! Don’t give up.
Repeat on the other side.
A secret yoga technique I recommend to many of my professional players is “yoga toes.” A simple $10 investment online or in drug stores. It is a gel like piece of equipment that you put between each of your toes to stretch the toes apart. It resembles that of what is put between your toes during a pedicure…not that you would know what that is either…It does not hurt and makes a huge difference. I recommend it to my players who tend towards plantar fasciitis…. sleep with these every night. Trust me it works and you have NOTHING to lose by trying. Ssssssshhhhhh it’s a “Yogi” secret.
These are some easy yoga moves to prevent the problem from plaguing your game and keep you strong flexible and powerful on the field.