Plantar fasciitis can be very painful. For a couple of years I suffered from foot pain. My foot would send a zinger upwards upon getting out of bed in the morning and then it would be pain free. For at least 10 years I worked on concrete floors and wore shoes that were on sale. Having lived with, studied and worked with foot pain for more the 20 years, I can tell you the two variables above do not matter. I never thought about my feet unless they hurt and that has taught me that paying attention to your feet is critical.
By changing the dynamic between the anterior and posterior of the leg you change the tension on your heel (calcaneus). Gaining more flexibility from the posterior leg and foot muscles allows the plantar fascia to stretch and release. It is the high tension coupled with weakness of the posterior muscles that create problems that result in plantar fasciitis.
Here is a solution: Make a loop out of a thera-band. Anchor the thera-band to something secure and low to the ground. Sit down and put your foot in the loop. Move back so there is tension on the thera-band when your foot is relaxed. Flex your foot up, with a straight leg, toward your knee (dorsi-flexion) and hold for 2 seconds. Repeat 8-16 times. Repeat the exercise again with a bent knee. Lastly, bring your heel as close to your body as possible. Your knee will be bent. Repeat the foot movement. Use your hand on top of your foot to get good resistance.
These exercises release tension in the gastrocnemius, soleus, and Achilles tendon. It also adds tension to the tibialis anterior muscle. Do not wait for your feet to hurt to pay attention to this area. It is our connection to the earth and also important for our mobility. Try the exercises and let me know your results.
Thank you K-Lea Gifford for crafting this post into a readable form.
K-Lea is a certified Iyengar Instructor and can be contacted at www.K-Lea.com