Plantar Fasciitis Stretches to Help Ease Pain

Plantar Fasciitis Stretches to Help Ease Pain

Do you suffer from heel pain? The stabbing pain of plantar fasciitis can make walking difficult and impede your daily life. While pain can be difficult to deal with, the good news is that many plantar fasciitis stretches can help ease your pain.

Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick band that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects the base of the toes to the heel bone. It is a common cause of heel pain that affects many people for many different reasons. If you suffer from heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis, regularly completing plantar fasciitis stretches can alleviate your pain.

plantar fasciitisPlantar Fasciitis Stretches

Most people want to escape pain. Plantar fasciitis stretches will not only alleviate your current pain but also prevent worse symptoms. Heel pain makes walking difficult. To avoid or lessen the pain, a plantar fasciitis sufferer might walk with poor alignment. The knees and hips suffer as a result and the plantar fasciitis remains untreated. Plantar fasciitis stretches can help ease your pain and prevent additional injuries.

Seated Stretch

This plantar fasciitis stretch requires no tools. Sit in a chair or on the ground. Place the ankle of the afflicted foot on the opposite knee. Hold your ankle with one hand and your toes with the other. Pull your toes back until you feel a stretch. Hold for 20 seconds.

Towel Stretch

This plantar fasciitis stretch requires a towel long enough to reach from one hand, around the ball of your foot, and into your other hand. Once the towel is wrapped around the ball of your foot, gently pull towards yourself until you feel a stretch in the bottom of your foot and the back of your calf. It is important to keep your knee straight and your heel on the floor for the greatest benefit. Hold for about 20 seconds and repeat.

Wall Stretch

This next plantar fasciitis stretch works similarly to the towel stretch. Instead of a towel, you will need a wall. Stand in front of the wall with your hands on the wall for balance. Place your toes on the wall. Your foot should be at about a 45-degree angle.

With your heel firmly on the floor, begin to bend your knee and lean towards the wall. You should feel a stretch on the bottom of your foot and at the back of your calf. Hold the stretch for about 20 seconds and repeat.

Plantar Fasciitis Exercises

While stretching helps many people relieve their plantar fasciitis pain, sometimes stretching can exacerbate their condition. In the case that stretching makes your plantar fasciitis pain worse, you will need to focus on strengthening plantar fasciitis exercises.

10 Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis

In addition to plantar fasciitis stretches that lengthen the plantar fascia, you should also work to strengthen the muscles in your feet and calves. Strong and relaxed legs and feet can help relieve plantar fasciitis pain. Here are 10 exercises for plantar fasciitis.

Heel Raises

The first of the 10 exercises for plantar fasciitis is heel raises. Heel raises are a simple exercise that will strengthen your feet and calves. It is recommended that you stand with your hands on a wall for balance. Start with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart. Slowly raise your heels off the ground until you are standing as high as you comfortably can on your tiptoes.

heel raises exerciseOnce you reach your tiptoes, begin to lower your heels. As slowly as you went up, you need to come down. Do as many reps as you can, but do not try to do too much too soon. As you build strength, you will be able to do more reps.

Heel Raises on Stairs

This exercise is the more difficult version of the traditional heel raises. Stand on a stair with your heels over the edge. Complete the heel raise from this position. When you come down, do not go lower than the height of the step.

Towel Scrunching

For this next plantar fasciitis exercise, you will need to sit in a chair with a towel beneath your feet. Begin scrunching the towel towards you with your toes. Keep your movements slow and controlled and your heel needs to remain touching the floor throughout the exercise.

foot scrunching exercise

Intrinsic Muscle Theraband Strengthening

The third of the 10 exercises for plantar fasciitis should strengthen the intrinsic muscle of the foot. As in the towel scrunching exercise, you will be seated for the entirety of this plantar fasciitis exercise. Place your foot flat on top of one end of the theraband. Hold the other end in your hand. Pull the theraband towards you, allowing your toes to come off the floor. Use your knee as an anchor point to maintain tension. Push your toes towards the floor against the resistance and slowly bring them back to the upward position. Complete 3 sets of  20 reps.

Ankle Inversion

This ankle inversion exercise requires a resistance band. Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Place the leg of the affected foot over the top of your other leg.

Secure the resistance band under your bottom foot and around your top foot. Hold the other end in your hand. Slowly bend your afflicted foot away from the bottom foot. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Small-Object Pick-up

For this exercise, you will need small, round objects like marbles or stones. You can either do this plantar fasciitis exercise standing or from a chair.

Place a bowl next to a pile of your desired objects in front of you. Pick up the object using your toes and transfer them to the bowl. You should use a scrunching motion to pick up the objects rather than picking them up between your toes.

Arch Lifts

Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. With your heels and the balls of your feet firmly on the floor, use your muscles to lift only the arch of your foot off the floor. Hold for a few seconds and then relax.

Tiptoe Walks

Walking around on your tiptoes for a few minutes a day will strengthen your calves and help develop ankle stability.

Standing on One Leg

Improve your balance and strengthen your feet and ankles by standing on one leg. It is a simple thing you can do for a few minutes every day.

Foot Roller

Many objects can be used to complete this plantar fasciitis exercise. Tennis balls, massage balls, and foot rollers work well. Place the object under your foot and roll it back and forth. This exercise both massages the plantar fascia and strengthens your foot muscles.

foot rollerPlantar Fasciitis Help

If you are experiencing pain related to plantar fasciitis that can not be helped by plantar fasciitis stretches or exercises, the Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois (FASI) can help. Feet are the foundation of the body and without a strong foundation, due to pain or instability, you can not be at your best. Whether you are suffering from an overuse injury such as plantar fasciitis or suffering from another foot ailment, the Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois (FASI) can help you feel better and keep your feet healthy.