Soothe Heel Pain With These Easy-To-Perform Plantar Fasciitis Stretches
Most of the time we ignore the plantar fascia, but when the pain strikes our heel, then we start searching for pain killer exercises to numb the painful area and to improve our overall foot mobility.
How can you tell that you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis?
Well, it’s simple! If your heel hurts badly, especially in the morning, then you’ve probably injured the ligament that connects the heel bone with the base of the toes. But, the diagnosed is set by the physical therapist which more likely he will prescribe you a set of foot stretches to perform at home.
As a day-by-day runner, it happened to injure my heel ligament that sent me directly to bed for 2 days. After seeing my physical therapist, well, he recommended the following foot exercises which, literally, put me back on my feet in less than 2 days. As I said it in another article, rest isn’t a cure anymore for most pains.
So, try the following plantar fasciitis stretches at home for fast relief.
1. Arch Massage
Image Credits: Arch Massage
This is a simple exercise that can be done throughout the day if you have a desk job. Use a tennis ball or small massage ball to roll out the sole of your foot. Start seated and, when able, progress to doing this exercise while standing. When pain is acute, fill a plastic water bottle with water and freeze it. Use this to massage the sole of your foot to help reduce pain and inflammation.
2. Toe Stretch
Image Credits: Toe Stretch
Sit up straight in a chair and place one foot across your thigh. Pull your big toe up toward your ankle so you feel a stretch along the sole of your foot. Hold 10 seconds and repeat 5 times. Then pull all your toes up toward your ankle and hold 10 seconds for 5 repetitions. Massage the sole of your foot while holding the stretch. This will help improve flexibility in the plantar fascia.
3. Towel Stretch
Image Credits: Towel Stretch
Sit on the floor or in a chair. Place a rolled towel under the ball of your foot and hold both ends. Straighten your knee and gently pull the towel toward you. Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds and repeat 3 to 5 times.
4. Calf Stretch
Image Credits: Calf Stretch
Stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Step back with one leg. Keeping the back knee straight and heel on the floor, bend your front knee until you feel a stretch in the back leg. Hold for 20 to 40 seconds and repeat 2 to 4 times. This will stretch the gastrocnemius and Achilles tendon, which can become extra tight if you wear high heels.
From there, slightly bend the back knee while keeping the heel on the floor to change the focus to the soleus muscle. You will feel this stretch lower in the calf near your ankle. Hold 20 to 40 seconds and repeat 2 to 4 times.
5. Plantar Fascia And Calf Stretch
Image Credits: Plantar Fascia And Calf Stretch
Stand with the balls of your feet on the edge of a step. Slowly let your heels down over the edge of the step and relax your calf muscles. You will feel a stretch throughout your calf and plantar fascia. Hold 20 to 30 seconds, then engage your calf muscles to return to the start position. Repeat 2 to 4 times.
6. Towel Scrunches
Image Credits: Towel Scrunches
Sit in a chair with a towel spread out on the floor under your feet. Use your toes to pull the towel toward you and then to push the towel away. This will help strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the feet, which will eventually take some of the burden and stress off of the plantar fascia.
7. Marble Game
Image Credits: Marble Game
Sitting in a chair, dump a cup of marbles on a towel on the floor. Pick them up one by one with your toes and place them back into the cup. This is another intrinsic muscle builder.