A new paper has taken a look at specific strengthening exercises for the plantar fascia and thrown up a couple of interesting things based on the link between weak intrinsic foot muscles and foot pathologies This systematic review evaluated interventions for intrinsic foot musculature strength training and plantar fasciitis.
You can read the abstract here however, the upshot was that this study showed that changes in a variety of outcomes were possible with foot intrinsic strength training in asymptomatic individuals, as well as promising results for progressive loading based strengthening exercise in the treatment of plantar fasciitis.
Keep in mind that in this symptomatic review it was not possible to identify the extent to which strengthening interventions for intrinsic musculature may benefit symptomatic or at risk populations to plantar fasciitis. The study also identified that there is limited external validity that foot exercises, toe flexion against resistance and minimalist running shoes may contribute to improved intrinsic foot musculature function.
Director of Bartold Gold