Plantar fasciitis, the inflammation of the connective tissue along the bottom of the foot from heel to toes, is a painful condition that many golfers experience. There are a number of reasons it can occur including a lack of ankle mobility, improper footwear, fallen arches, etc. You'll know you have this condition if you feel a sharp, stabbing pain near the heel of your foot and this seems to be at its worst when you take your first few steps after long periods of minimal activity such as sitting or sleeping.
The inflammation will eventually subside, but it could take months and reoccur if precautionary steps aren't taken—especially for golfers who like to walk a lot. One stretch that helps eliminate pain was designed by Dr. Benedict DiGiovanni at the University of Rochester. If you want to try it, follow these steps:[#image: /photos/55ad7ab0add713143b42ac9b]|||the-loop-foot-massage.jpg|||
Sit with the ankle of the afflicted foot resting on the knee of the other foot.
Stretch the arch of the foot by pulling the toes toward the shin bone.
Hold for a count of 10 and repeat several times (two or three times daily)
To make sure you're stretching the tissue, take your thumb and press against the middle of the foot near the heal as shown. Note: This might be slightly painful.
Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor of Golf Digest.
(Illustration: Brown Bird Design)