A few years back, i began to feel a tightness in my right calf muscle, and some tension in the sole of my right foot, especially after hiking or a long day’s walk. I didn’t know why. But i found our recently in the yoga class that it may be related to tightness in the plantar fascia.
So what causes tightness in the plantar fascia?
When you are sleeping or sitting down, your plantar fascia tightens up because of the inflammation and micro-tears. It’s not just your foot muscles, you may very tight calf muscles, but often also have tight lower back, glutes and hamstring muscles. This is because all the muscles that run down your lower back and the back of your legs are connected via thick layers of fascia and tendons.
3 Yoga poses to reduce pain in the foot caused by tight plantar
1. Malasana – Poop pose/ Garland pose
- Sometimes the pain could be caused by tight hip flexors. This pose helps by flexing and opening the hip joint, and stretching the quadriceps (thighs) and glutes.
- Pectineus, adductor magnus, adductor longus, adductor brevis contracts, opening your thigh
- Check this short video for more tips.
2. Adho Mukha Swanasana – Downward Dog
- This pose helps to stretch your tight muscles which may be causing the pain in your foot! Flexing at the hip joint, creates length throughout the entire body, particularly in the back body, including the heels, hips, and lower back
- Stretches your calves (gastrocnemius and the soleus), hamstrings (biceps femoris, semimembranosus, Semitendinosus), glutes (gluteus maximums, gluteus minimus)
3. Utkatasana – Chair Pose
- Place both feet firmly on the ground in neutral position.Those with tight plantar fascia tend to supinate the foot. (see below)
- If you’re feeling unsteady, try stepping your feet hip-width apart.
- This pose strengthens the entire legs from the glutes and thighs to the calves and ankles. Flexing at the knee joint, hamstrings contract and quadriceps lengthen, this pose contributes to knee stability. The erector spinae muscles in the back also become strong as you engage.
One last tip which Master Sree shared with me: Placing a tennis ball on the ground and gently rolling it under foot for a few minutes can help loosen up your plantar fascia, making it much less likely to become irritated . Put enough pressure on the ball to get a deep massage. You may feel some soreness, but back off if you feel any pain.
By Amelia Lim