I have a client that had plantar fasciitis and is NOT having any trouble with it at this time. She stays in tune with how her foot is feeling when working out. My question is, is it ok to have her do calf presses? We did them yesterday and she said it doesn’t hurt, she can feel the tendon maybe stretching? She wasn’t sure, but it didn’t hurt. She completed the calf press and today when I checked in with her there was no indication that her foot was affected. My suggestion to her was to make sure to do her stretching exercises. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
My advice is to NOT do calf presses because it is likely your client’s calves may already be overactive and tight. This could likely be a cause for the plantar fasciitis problem. Here are a few very simple steps to try and relieve plantar fasciitis discomfort. These moves are part of the NASM Corrective Exercise program. Your client should see results when applying this strategy.
The first step is to perform self-myofascial release on her plantar fascia, gastrocnemius/soleus, and peroneals. She can use a foam roller for the gastrocnemius/soleus and peroneals and a golf ball or a can of frozen orange juice would work great for the plantar fascia. Roll each area until a tender spot is discovered and then hold at that point for thirty seconds.
Step two is to perform a static stretch of the gastrocnemius and the soleus. Do one set and hold the stretch for thirty seconds.
Next, perform one to two sets of ten to fifteen reps of a resisted ankle dorsiflexion and also of single leg calf raises. You can use a cable machine or resistance tubling for the resisted ankle dorsiflexion. Another alternative is to have your client sit on a bench and place a Swiss ball on top of her toes. She can apply pressure on the ball with her hands for resistance as she dorsiflexes her ankles. For each rep use a two count positive motion, hold for two counts, and then use a four count negative motion. When doing the single leg calf raise make sure that the knee and toes point straight ahead so that the medial gastrocnemius is strengthened. Again use a two count positive motion, hold for two counts, and use a four count negative motion.
The final step is to perform a single-leg balance reach movement pattern. Do one to two sets of ten to fifteen reps at a slow and controlled tempo.
In addition take a look at the shoes she is wearing. Improperly fitting or old worn out shoes might not provide proper support and can lead to issues such as plantar fasciitis.
Kerry, have your client try these steps to see if it will relieve her plantar fasciitis pain.
As a MELT instructor, I often deal with people with plantar fasciitis. I cannot recommend enough that your client check the MELT foot treatment. I have always seen great improvements to the point of it going away. I have testimonials to that effect on my website.