Stretching Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis can be a real pain in the foot! Plantar fasciitis is the medical term for inflammation of the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. If your first few steps out of bed in the morning cause severe pain in the heel of your foot, you may have plantar fasciitis.

You’re more likely to develop the condition if you’re female, overweight or have a job that requires a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces. You’re also at risk if you walk or run for exercise, especially if you have tight calf muscles that limit how far you can flex your ankles. People with very flat feet or very high arches also are more prone to plantar fasciitis.

Stretching is one of the best treatments for plantar fasciitis. It may help to try to keep weight off your foot until the initial inflammation goes away. You can also apply ice to the sore area for 20 minutes three or four times a day to relieve your symptoms. Often a doctor will prescribe a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Home exercises to stretch your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia are the mainstay of treatment and reduce the chance of recurrence. Here are some simple (and free) things you can do at home to help prevent and possibly reverse plantar fasciitis.

Towel Stretch

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  2. Loop a towel around the ball of your affected foot.
  3. Pull the towel towards you until a stretch is felt across the bottom of your foot and calf.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds then relax – repeat 10 times.

Calf Stretch­

  1. Stand facing a wall and place your hands straight out on the
    wall.
  2. Take a step back with your affected foot keeping it flat on
    the floor.
  3. Move the other leg forward and slowly lean in toward the wall.
  4. Stop when you feel a stretch through the calf.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds then relax – repeat 10 times.

Stair Stretch­

  1. Stand on a step on the balls for your feet.
  2. Hold the rail for balance.
  3. Slowly lower the heel of the injured foot until a stretch is felt.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds then relax – repeat 10 times.

Can roll­

  1. Roll your injured foot (without a shoe on) back and forth from the tip of the toes to the heel over a frozen can or water bottle.
  2. Repeat ten times in both directions.

One thing to keep in mind is that while these tips have been proven to work, they’re not an instant fix. It can take a few weeks of consistency with them before your pain levels begin to change. If you’re not seeing any improvement after making an honest effort, it may be time to look into some different treatment methods with your doctor such as physical therapy, orthotics, a weight-loss plan, or others. If you are still experiencing pain from plantar fasciitis give up a call or request an appointment now!