Are you in love with adventure sports like hiking? If you plan a trip, shooting pain in your heel does not let you enjoy it. The pain might be plantar fasciitis that may be caused due to many reasons. Still, the most common ones are extended periods of walking. Experts recommend yoga for plantar fasciitis to ease heel pain and strengthen the legs and feet.
Whether you are attending a party with high heels, running in your comfortable shoes, or walking in the market wearing a chappal, our feet have to exert. The reason is that our body weight is born by the feet while running.
The Foot Pains and the Role of Yoga
Heel limbs and plantar fasciitis are the two commonest foot aches people experience. Our heel bone is the prominent bone in the foot that absorbs maximum shock and weight. And when you stand and walk, the pain intensifies.
When we talk about plantar fasciitis, it is defined as the swelling tearing of the fascia ligament, positioned at the bottom of the feet. People experience widespread heel pain due to poor quality shoes, overworking or irregular foot mechanisms.
Experts usually treat these conditions through non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and night bandages to stretch calf and foot bottom while resting. Sometimes steroid injections are also given to patients. While steroid shots are effective, they carry a risk of nerve damage, soft tissue thinning, and wearying of the tendon. So, steroid injections should be taken only thrice a year.
The standing position in yoga for plantar fasciitis can help strengthen the foot foundation. Simultaneously, the stretches can release stiff muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Which Yoga Sequence Should You Follow to Ease Foot Pain?
Yoga and Ball-work for Tender Feet
For a nice fine-tune of the feet, the ball-work technique is the best. Keep in mind that you should not experience any pain (especially joint pain) while performing yoga. Only perform gentle stretches.
Basic Sitting Pose
In this pose, you need to sit comfortably at the front edge of your chair with your back straight, belly tucked, chest raised, shoulders in a relaxed position, feet on the ground, and knees directly over the ankles.
Basic Standing Pose
When you stand straight with feet at a distance of a hip-width, feet directed forward, legs active, belly tucked in, chest raised, shoulders directly and away from ears, look forward, head raised, neck and back straight. Breathe in and out gently.
Straight Leg and Ankle Warm-ups
Take a basic sitting posture, stretch your legs in front of you with knees straight and heels resting on the ground. Begin by wiggling your toes. Then warm up the ankles by bending and spreading both feet, directing your toes towards yourself and then away from you. Relax the ankles by drawing circles in both directions with feet. Repeat this with three to five breaths.
In the standing posture, lift the right heel, roll on the right toes, and place the heel back on the floor. Repeat in both directions.
The eventual back of body stretch includes hamstrings, calf muscles, and Achilles tendon (in the leg). To make these feet pose even sweeter, include alternating mild heal uplifts by bending one knee joint as you move the other heel towards the floor. And if your heels cannot touch the base, use a yoga mat for support.
To practice the runner’s stretch:
- Perform the low lunge by moving your right foot frontward.
- While your back toes are positioned under, place your left knee to the mat and roll the hip back in the direction of the heel.
- Arch your right foot and pivot the upper body over the front knee.
The Hero’s Pose
To perform the yoga hero’s pose from a bow position:
- Press the feet top on the mat as you move your body down the legs.
- Place the knee forward for proper alignment.
- If your hips cannot easily touch the ground, use the support of a blanket or bolster.
The Tree Pose by Standing on a Block
When you stand on a block in a tree pose, your foot will be weakened while the primary and assister muscles will be reinforced. Standing on the block will distribute the body weight in four corners of the foot evenly. Don’t grasp your toes around the block or let the hip drop down. You can use a solid block or foamy block for ideal weight distribution.
Bound Angle Pose
Join your feet together to see if you have flat feet or curved arches. To perform a bound angle pose, you should place a tennis ball between your feet to softly roll them back and forth. It will allow you to stretch the fascia.
V Stretch Pose
When you stretch your legs in a V shape, it helps push the abductor’s muscles. The stiff inner thigh muscles can burden the foot arch leading to pain, discomfort, and imbalance. When you place legs up the wall, it releases edema of the lower edges and provides the strength placed on the feet during the daytime.
Foot Massage for Relaxation
If you want to treat your feet, you should practice self-foot massage daily. Take a few drops of essential oil or moisturizer to massage the foot. Some recommendations include chamomile, lavender, and eucalyptus, as they have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
To perform the foot massage, you need to follow these steps:
- Sit in a comfortable area and place your foot on the opposite knee.
- With both hands, move your thumbs up to the centerline of the foot. With gentle pressure, massage tender pressure points more than other foot areas.
- Scour the bottom of each toe, and then gradually move the toe aloft.
- With the heel of your opposite hand, firmly scour the foot arch in circular motions. Repeat the same on the ball and heel of the foot.
- Then using the other hand, rotate your ankle in spherical motion in alternating directions. Bend and direct the foot a few times, and then use gradual light strokes along the foot top.
- Lastly, interlace the other hand’s fingers through the foot toes to detach them. Spread the toes wide but never exert a lot of pressure.
- Perform the same on the other feet.