Plantar fasciitis is one of most nagging and limiting orthopedic pathologies in the foot. There are modifiable risk factors that can attribute to developing plantar fasciitis. To name a couple, a lack of ankle dorsiflexion & great toe extension range of motion and poor load capacity of the plantar fascia. We believe improving ankle & great toe mobility and high-load strength training are the best way to manage plantar fasciitis!
Demonstrated in the video are ankle dorsiflexion mobility, great toe extension mobility, and high-load strength training exercises for plantar fasciitis featuring the DorsiFLEX. This tool is unique as you can adjust the height of the ankle and great toe stretch as well as the difficulty of the high-load strength training exercise. Great toe extension is ESSENTIAL to load the plantar fascia. The DorsiFLEX allows for a more INDIVIDUALIZED program as you can modify the position of the great toe, which modifies the load (see the end of the video) for those managing plantar fasciitis in different stages.
A study by Rathleff et al. 2015 comparing high load strength training to stretching for plantar fasciitis reported superior outcomes (pain & function) with high-load strength training at 3 months follow-up compared to plantar-specific stretching alone. The strength training group performed this single leg calf raise variation with the following protocol below...
3 seconds up on two feet. 2 second hold at the top. And 3 seconds down on 1 foot
Week 1 ➡ 3 sets of 12 reps
Weeks 2 & 3 ➡ 4 sets of 10 reps
Weeks 4+ ➡ 5 sets of 8 reps
This specific treatment strategy—known as “high-load strength training”—may stimulate an increase in collagen synthesis, encouraging normal tendon structure in addition to fascia being able to tolerate load. Additionally, this exercise facilitates an increase in dorsiflexion and intrinsic foot strength.