Exercise with Plantar Fasciitis or Other Foot Problems

Updated on September 26, 2013
M.J. asks from Sacramento, CA
10 answers

Just wondering what types of exercises people here with plantar fasciitis or other foot problems are doing?

I am used to being very active, which is likely why I developed the foot problem in the first place. I enjoyed brisk daily walks with our dog and going to the gym 3-4 x a week (doing a combo of weight training and cardio). The elliptical was a favorite, but that's out now.

So far, under the doctor's advice, I'm down to riding the bike at the gym and yoga (minus any poses requiring me to stand on just my left foot). I don't have access to an indoor swimming pool for the colder months. Walking is out until I get the inflammation down.

What are some foot-friendly exercises you've discovered? Any good cardio options?

ETA: I did buy pricey new ugly shoes (seriously, all of the ones for PF are so ugly) and the doctor-recommended shoe insert for my other shoes, which have helped. However, I'm not at a point yet where they're enough to pick up walking or the elliptical again.

I'm not right in Sacramento. There is one indoor pool nearby, but it's not one where you can just show up and use it. There are classes running throughout the day. The gym we belong to has outdoor pools, which aren't ideal in cooler weather.

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answers from Philadelphia on

Ooh, I feel for you. I had a foot issue that took about a year and half to heal. I just rode an exercise bike too. Feel better!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Las Vegas on

I have neuromas in both feet (inflamed nerves) so any type of pounding exercises are now out for me. Spin can be a good class IF you don't do the standing portion of it.... you can still burn a lot of calories.. Also, water aerobics... Also, the stationary bikes where you can sit back in a seat with your legs forward as oppose to vertical... hence, you apply less pressure..

good luck and happy healing

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

That can be very painful.
I get a flair up every so often.
When I do, I'll wear my Birkenstock sandals or clogs every waking minute (except in the shower) until the pain is gone.
As long as I wear something with good arch support, I feel no pain and can do what ever I usually do.
Within several months I can go barefoot again.
Hope your feet feel better soon.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Do the stretches your doctor recommends every chance you get. When mine flares up, I stretch every time I think about it. Custom arch support inserts for my shoes, I still do the elliptical, but I have to have the custom inserts.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Swimming. Many clubs have indoor pools.


answers from Boston on

A few friends of mine had this, and the key was to reduce the inflammation and promote the healing. There are some great products that contain a natural peptide that has been proven to reduce inflammation and promote healthy cells. It can be taken alone, or as part of a couple of different products that either replace all your vitamins & supplements, or which support muscle repair and recovery. One friend had the plantar fasciitis on top of a lot of neck injuries from whiplash, so she did the overall nutrition approach, and went from severe pain to taking karate. There's phenomenal new research and some new advances over the past year that lends even more support to this approach. The clinical studies are powerful, and there have been tons of news reports, segments on Dr. Oz and various morning new shows, and so on. Plant-based, non-drug solutions seem to be the way to go.



answers from Sacramento on

I have found that Arch Bandages make a big difference for me... I found them on Amazon for about $12 dollars a pair... They might be worth looking into

I wear mine on the Mat, I practice Krav Maga, and they make the difference between walking or limping off the mat.. I also wear them under my socks and in my running shoes when I find myself in the mood to run and I don't get shin splints like I used to when I would run without them..

Once your foot has healed they might be a good addition to your arsenal of preventative measures..



answers from Los Angeles on

Honestly, swimming would be the best answer.
I googled indoor pools in Sacramento and found several.
Is it that you don't have access to the pools (memberships) or a car to
drive to them? I would def call around to the nearest ones & find their
pricing. Maybe they have a limited mbrship for a deal. Call YMCA etc.


Honestly, swimming would be the best answer.
I googled indoor pools in Sacramento and found several.
Is it that you don't have access to the pools (memberships) or a car to
drive to them? I would def call around to the nearest ones & find their
pricing. Maybe they have a limited mbrship for a deal. Call YMCA etc.



answers from Minneapolis on

It's all about the shoes. I wear Haflinger clogs around the house, and they are amazing. My daughter calls them my "medicine shoes" cuz I go "aaahhhh" when I put them on.

When I had plantar fasciitis I didn't stop walking/running/and karate (barefoot) but I put my feet in the clogs before getting out of bed in the morning and never went barefoot around the house until my feet were better. I also invested in really good shoes for work, because I sometimes stand and teach. That helped tremendously, too.



answers from Miami on

I had this for a year and a half. I remember walking around Paris on vacation with tears in my eyes and looking for ANYWHERE to sit, rather than enjoying where I was.

Two people told me to buy hard soled shoes such as Munro at Nordstroms, and I finally listened and did it. Oh my gosh - it worked. After unsuccessfully wearing a boot to bed that hurt my hip, getting shots in my feet that only provided relief for a few weeks, and exercises that didn't help, the SHOES made the difference.

The reason is because they protect the ligament on the bottom of your foot from being re-damaged. When you wear soft shoes, they allow the plantar fasia ligament which covers the bottom of your foot to be re-injured constantly. It hurts for the first couple of weeks, and then it gets better.

Also, it does help to gently stretch your feet when you first get up in the morning, from the FIRST step out of the bed. Put your foot behind you and lean forward - holding a wall or the bed will help. It stretches your foot and your hamstring. Then do the other one.

I know some of these shoes are very expensive. I also wear Naot's. I have come to learn that the right shoes means everything to my life and I pay for it. I'm not taking any chance in getting plantar fascitis again.

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