Tai Chi for Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue in the arch of the foot, between the ball and heel. The bones in the feet are connected to ligaments that support the arch, and they can become inflamed and painful when aggravated. Sometimes this condition can be caused or aggravated by running.
Tai Chi can help remedy the pain of Plantar Fasciitis, through gentle stretching and balancing of the muscles in the feet and legs. Because it’s a low to medium-impact exercise, it can be used every day from 20-30 minutes.
Because Tai Chi focuses on slow, stretching movements of the feet and ankles, it has been proven to improve plantar sensation and balance. Within a few weeks of practice, there should also be more flexibility in the ankles, calves, feet and legs. Over time, strength will be built up in the plantar fascia, which can decrease pain and prevent further injury.
When practicing Tai Chi to help Plantar Fasciitis, the most beneficial exercises are those that involve standing on one foot and shifting the weight from one leg to another. This helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles in the feet and ankles. The Tai Chi walk is a technique that involves these movements and can be a great place to start. Over time, you can incorporate crane stance to increase balance.
This video, featured on the Dr. Oz show, (click to see Dr. Oz video) features the Tai Chi techniques that can treat Plantar Fasciitis. If you live near the NY/NJ metro area, the best option is to study with an experienced practitioner (click here) who teaches tai chi for pain relief and increased flexibility. If you would like to learn more about our at home training program (click here).