Relieving plantar fasciitis pain with toe yoga (video)

By The Health News Team | March 8, 2021

Stabbing pain along the bottom of the foot can make it feel as if you are walking on "pins and needles" - and is a symptom of plantar fasciitis.
"Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel and bottom of the foot pain," says Tracy Baker, a physical therapist at the
Sewall Healthy Living Center at
Sharp Coronado Hospital. "It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue - plantar fascia - that runs across the bottom of your foot, which connects your heel bone to your toes."
This injury is common in
runners, but also affects people who spend most of their day walking or standing on hard surfaces. In addition, pregnant women and people who are overweight can develop plantar fasciitis because of the extra weight on the plantar fascia ligament.
Ignoring the signs may result in chronic heel pain that can hinder regular activities and could lead to foot, knee, hip or back problems. Prior to seeking treatment from a specialist, Baker recommends some remedies to try at home.
"If you suspect you have plantar fasciitis, you can initially try resting the
foot from walking or standing activities, apply ice to the bottom of the foot, use supportive shoes when walking, and do not go barefoot," she says. "If these actions do not improve your foot or heel pain, see your doctor and ask for a physical therapy referral."
Toe yoga helps to relieve plantar fasciitis pain
Some simple foot stretches and exercises, such as toe yoga, can help relieve pain, as well as improve muscle strength and promote flexibility in the foot. "Toe yoga exercises help to retrain the small intrinsic muscles in the feet to allow for a more normal walking pattern," Baker says.

  1. Sit in a chair with feet flat on the floor and knees bent.

  2. Starting with 1 foot, slowly try to raise the big toe off the floor while keeping the other 4 toes on the ground.

  3. Then, lower the big toe and try to raise the other 4 toes while keeping the big toe on the floor.

  4. Continue to switch between the big toe lifting and the other toes lifting.

  5. Perform this 15 times for 2 sets. Repeat with the other foot, as needed.

For more plantar fasciitis exercise videos, visit
If you need help with your rehabilitation program or reaching your fitness goals, the Sewall Healthy Living Center at Sharp Coronado Hospital is currently offering virtual group fitness classes and outdoor personal training sessions. For more information, call 619-522-3798.

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