Plantar Fibromatosis Exercises

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Stretching for the calf and arch of the foot can help relieve symptoms.
Image Credit: undrey/iStock/GettyImages

It can be alarming to notice a lump on the bottom of your foot — particularly if it is painful to the touch. Lumps can develop in your plantar fascia, which is a thick band of tissue that supports your arch. While plantar fibromatosis exercises can help reduce pain, they won't cure the condition.

See your doctor for a diagnosis if you suspect you might have plantar fibromatosis.

Read more: Back of Heel Burning Pain When Stretching

Understanding the Condition

According to a 2019 article published by Orthopedic Research and Reviews, plantar fibromatosis — also called Ledderhose disease — is a rare condition that occurs when nodules grow in the fascia on the bottom of your foot.

The condition is benign, meaning it isn't particularly harmful and it's not cancerous. However, it can cause pain if your shoes press against the lumps, when you walk barefoot or if you're standing for long periods of time.

Treatment for this condition is aimed at reducing pain. There is no "cure" for the nodules. Medical management includes oral or injected steroids, oral medication to help reduce production of collagen, or radiation. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) can also be beneficial, as discussed in an October 2012 article published by BMC.

According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, surgery can be done if conservative treatment doesn't relieve your pain. However, the condition can come back — and surgery can lead to other problems, including a collapsed arch and toe deformities.

Read more: A Sore Heel After Running

Exercises for Plantar Fibroma

While plantar fibromatosis exercises won't fix the underlying condition, strengthening exercises can be performed for your toes to help support your arch, as recommended by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Also, as part of your plantar fibromatosis treatment, stretches can help to improve the flexibility of your foot.

Move #1: Calf Stretch

  1. Stand facing a wall.
  2. Place your hands on the wall at shoulder height.
  3. Step the affected foot backward, about 2 feet.
  4. Keeping your back knee straight and heel on the floor, slowly shift your weight over the front leg until you feel pulling along the back of your opposite calf.
  5. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then relax.
  6. Repeat three times.

Move #2: Arch Stretch

  1. In a seated position, cross your affected ankle over the opposite knee.
  2. Grab your big toe with your index finger and thumb.
  3. Gently pull your toe back toward your shin until you feel a stretch in your arch.
  4. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then relax.
  5. Repeat three times.

Move #3: Marble Pick Up

  1. Sit with your feet on the floor.
  2. Place 15 to 20 marbles on the floor to one side of your foot and a small towel on the other side.
  3. Pick up one marble at a time and place them on the towel.
  4. Repeat three times.

Move #4: Towel Scrunches

  1. Sit with your feet on the floor.
  2. Spread a small towel lengthwise in front of your foot.
  3. Curl the towel toward you, using your toes.
  4. Scrunch up the length of the towel.
  5. Repeat three times.

Is This an Emergency?

To reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 infections, it is best to call your doctor before leaving the house if you are experiencing a high fever, shortness of breath or another, more serious symptom.
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