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Foam Rolling Exercises

Here is a video of foam rolling exercises.  These can be done for many conditions of the foot and ankle including achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.  Below the video you will find the transcript of the video.  

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now we're going to talk a little bit

about some home therapy exercises that

patients can do utilizing some tools

specifically foam rollers we'll start by

looking at what a foam roller is if you

don't know there's different sizes some

foam rollers are very long some are

shorter this is a typical one that can

be used for the back of the calf so what

does a foam roller used for if you look

at the anatomy of the back of the calf

that you have the gastroc and you have

the soleus these are two

muscles that are on the back of the calf

and these many times get tight with

plantar fasciitis if they're tight it

puts a lot of the stress and strain

through the area of the plantar fascia

you can do the stretching exercises that

we talked about but I find many patients

benefit from doing some simple foam

rolling exercises at home what do you

need to look for in a foam roller well

basically, it's a tube of foam that's

hard that doesn't squeeze down some of

these knobs can help to penetrate a

little bit deeper and there is a new

type of a foam roller that's a little

bit smaller and it has a

vibrating component to it if you push

the button and it vibrates and so it's a

lot easier to do the exercises with this

you put your leg on it and it does all

the work but we're going to show the

old-fashioned way of doing foam rolling

so, we'll start with this foam roller

right here when you take the foam roller

you put it underneath the back of the

calf and you want to put it right at the

junction of it right where the soleus is

where there's or there's a little bit of

a Dell in the back of your calf region

and when you set it on there it might be

a little bit tight a little bit painful

and basically, you roll a little bit

forward and a little bit backward on the

foam roller till you feel a little bit

of a burn in that area and you do this

for five or ten rotations and then what

you do so that works with the gastroc

soleus there's also two other muscles

one is called the peroneus brevis and

longus and the other one is the

posterior tibial tendon and you roll

your foot over a little bit and you can

roll back and forth this way as well to

get to the work of the peroneal and

then you also can roll it inside to work

the posterior tibial tendon

one specifically on the inside is one of

the big culprits that contributes to

plantar fasciitis along with going back

and forth there are some other foot

movements you can do like rolling your

foot in a circle by doing that it moves

the muscles and it hurts a little bit

more penetrating a little bit deeper and

also moving your foot up and moving it

down now when you do this up and

downward motion I recommend people belly

breathe or really focus on their

breathing during that time because you

go up and then as you go down you

breathe out you must focus on

two things when you're doing foam

rolling I recommend focusing on

hydration and focus on breathing

because when things hurt you tend to

tense up and you stress up and you

forget to breathe so breathing is very

important when you're doing the form

rolling the nice thing about foam

rolling is you can bring it with you

it's easy to take when you go on trips

and you can use it in other parts of the

body if you're going to get one tool to

stretch if you have Achilles tendonitis

plantar fasciitis I would use a foam

roller you can also use it on your quads

in your IT band so once again that the

IT band is on the side of your hip and

you can roll this on the ground and

on your quad in the front and if you're

going to be complete in terms of foam

rolling I recommend starting on the quad

then in the IT band and then work the

back of the calf this is especially

important for those that are starting to

run and you get tight muscles these

tight muscles the first couple of days

are fine but if you don't treat the

tight muscles it's going to cause other

types of problems and can lead to other

foot problems that you may have


Dr. Donald Pelto Dr. Donald Pelto Dr. Donald Pelto is a Podiatrist at Central Massachusetts Podiatry, in Worcester and Westborough. Author of several books on foot health, he also speaks Portuguese and Spanish. He likes to go on family hikes and loves learning and talking about health related topics and healthy life hacks. Watch some of his interviews about health and video lectures on

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