I suggest you check out the MELT (Myofascial Energetic Length Technique) Hand and Foot Treatment kit which contains a series of exercise using balls of different sizes and textures. I have only seen positive results from it. You can check some testimonials on my web site www.meltnc.com which come from ‘real’ people.
Self Myofacial Release (SMR) is an amazing therapy for almost anything facia. I use a golf ball and roll it up and down the length of my plantar facia (I do this while seated so I can modify the pressure intensity) while my ankle is flexed, extended, and neutral; with toes spread wide, flexed up, and with them curled.
SMR for plantar fascitis can give you much needed relief. It should be followed with stretching and strengthening. Don’t overlook the fact that the cause of the plantar fascitis is rarely the plantar fascia itself. The most likely cause is over-activity in the soleus and/or gastrocs. SMR the gastrocs and soleus as well as the plantar fascia. The peroneals may also be involved. If you find trigger points (tender spots) hold on those spots for about 30 seconds or until you feel a ‘softening’ and follow that with stretching of these muscles. Perform toe taps or resisted dorsiflexion to strengthen the anterior tibialis.
I thought you might find the information regarding plantar fascitis in the American Council on Exercise Personal Trainer Manual under “Common Musculoskeletal Injuries and Implications for Exercise” helpful. It states:
“Conservative management of this condition may include the following:
Modalities (i.e. ice)
Oral anti-inflammatory medication
Heel pad or plantar arch
A medical doctor may prescribe physical therapy, a night splint, or orthotics, or inject the area with cortisone. (Cole, Seto & Gazewood, 2005; Buchbinder, 2004).
A client with plantar fascitis may be clear to exercise immediately to tolerance but most often with restrictions from his or her medical professional. The goal is to design a program that challenges the client but does not excessively load the foot. Integrating specific foot exercises into the client’s general fitness program often provides the best results. This allows the client to work toward his or her fitness goals as well as address the foot problems.”
If you like to read more you can find this information on in chapter 15 of ACE Personal Trainer Resource Manual on page 553.
All the best to you.
I have plantar fasciitis myself for a few months now. My podiatrist prescribed me with Custom made orthotics which did not work at all. I understood that treatment efficiency is very individual. If something works for one maybe it will not work for the other. I have found Taping very useful.
Today as I am feeling much better with the pain I am doing a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises. I have found a good website summary explaining the subject of these exercises in:
Take care & Good luck