5 Moves to Prevent Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a runner's recurring nightmare. It's a notoriously stubborn injury that strikes when the thick band of fibers that runs along the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. It often starts as a minor irritation but can advance and develop into a sidelining injury, especially if it's not treated promptly or properly.

While ice, rest, orthotics and pain relievers may ease the discomfort, the injury can come back again (and again) unless you address the underlying cause— weak and tight muscles and tendons that make up and support the foot, says Irene Davis, Ph.D., P.T., director of the Spaulding National Running Center, Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

If arch pain is your nemesis, Davis recommends doing the following exercises, barefoot, daily. (Learn to do the moves with correct form: watch the video how-to of the five exercises and follow along.)

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