7 Best Stretches to Relieve Plantar Fasciitis

If you’re experiencing pain in your heel, it may be due to a condition called plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common injuries among novice runners. Fortunately, there are usually ways to treat it at home, so you can resume running soon.

The following is a summarization of plantar fasciitis and the best plantar fasciitis stretches to ease foot pain. Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes, becomes inflamed. This can cause heel pain and difficulty walking. Several stretches can help ease the pain of plantar fasciitis. These include stretching the Achilles tendon, calf muscles, and hamstrings.

Plantar Fasciitis

One of the most common running injuries is plantar fasciitis, but it can be overcome with the right exercises.

The condition known as plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the tissue band located under the foot. This can result in a great deal of discomfort and even injury. However, there is good news. Plantar fasciitis can be treated relatively easily by doing specific plantar fasciitis stretches and exercises, as well as getting adequate rest.

Plantar fasciitis can cause pain that gets worse while exercising, so people may be tempted to ignore it. However, without proper treatment and recovery, the condition may become chronic and cause problems with the feet, knees, hips, or back.

Plantar fasciitis is a very common condition, affecting up to 15 per cent of adults. It occurs when your plantar fascia, a band of tissue running across the bottom of your foot, becomes inflamed, says Stephen Roeske, D.P.M., a podiatry specialist in Illinois.

This connective tissue is a thick band that runs across the bottom of your foot from your heel bone to your toes and supports your arch.

In some cases, the inflammation leads to the degeneration of the plantar fascia or the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes.

The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is stress on the plantar fascia, which can be caused by several things, such as wearing the wrong shoes, rolling your ankles inward while you walk, or simply overusing the foot (for example, running too far too fast or standing on a hard surface for too long), according to the University of Michigan Health System.

The plantar fascia can become strained and lead to small micro-tears in the fascia. This can become inflamed and cause considerable pain.

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that can affect anyone, regardless of age. It is most common in people between the ages of 40 and 60 but has also been known to occur in younger athletes who participate in sports that place strain on the feet, such as running, ballet, soccer, and tennis.

The Causes Of Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that runs from the toes to the heel. It acts like a shock absorber when you walk or run and supports the arch of your foot.

If you put too much stress on your heel, it can cause small tears in the tissue. If this keeps happening, the tissue can become swollen and painful, which makes it hard to stand or sit comfortably.

If you have heel pain, you will likely feel a sharp, stabbing pain when you take your first steps after sleeping or resting for a long period. The pain usually goes away during activity, but then comes back after you have been inactive for a while.

Up to 15% of adults suffer from plantar fasciitis, with the condition being most prevalent in those aged between 40 and 60. However, younger athletes are also susceptible, particularly if their chosen sport puts strain on the plantar fascia, as explained by Dr Benjamin Domb from the American Hip Institute & Orthopaedic Specialists.

Fasciitis pain can also be caused by walking or standing on hard surfaces for hours, obesity, and foot mechanics such as walking patterns that affect weight distribution, fallen arches (pes planus), and high arches.

Causes that athletes should pay attention to include:

  • Overstretching the sole of the foot
  • Being new to exercising on a hard floor
  • Wearing shoes that don’t provide enough support or cushioning
  • Increasing the amount of standing, walking, or running
  • Exercising when your heel or calf is tight

Other things can cause plantar fasciitis, such as a compressed nerve or a stress fracture. Also, what you eat can affect plantar fasciitis. If you eat a lot of processed, inflammatory foods, it will make plantar fasciitis worse.

Think about switching to raw organic plant-based protein powders as a way to get more omega-3 fatty acids, turmeric, and alkalizing greens into your diet.

Best Plantar Fasciitis stretches

To follow this plan, do the recommended exercises each day for the corresponding number of reps and duration. Some exercises should be done multiple times per day.

You’ll need An elastic therapy band and a towel.

1. Gastrocnemius Muscle stretch

This follow-up stretch helps lengthen the plantar fasciitis region and keeps it supple.

B. Bend forward at the hips, keeping your back flat against the wall and your front knee aligned over your front ankle. C. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat. Doing the wall stretch: 1. Put your hands flat against a wall, with one foot in front of the other (the foot that hurts should be behind). Keep your toes pointing forward toward the wall. 2. Bend forward at the hips, keeping your back flat against the wall and your front knee aligned over your front ankle. 3. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat.

Stand with your back leg straight and your front leg bent, with both heels planted firmly on the floor. Your weight should be on your front leg, and you should feel a stretch in the heel and calf of your back leg.

Or

  1. Stand in front of a wall with your toes pointed toward it.
  2. Place your hands flat on the wall.
  3. Position your affected foot behind your unaffected foot.
  4. Keeping your heels firmly on the floor, bend your front knee, lean toward the wall, and straighten your back leg.
  5. Rest your weight on your front leg until you feel a stretch in the calf and heel of your affected leg.
  6. Hold for one minute and repeat three times.
  7. Do this exercise three times per day.

2. Soleus Muscle Stretch

This particular plantar fasciitis stretch is very effective and can be done practically anywhere and at any time. It involves stretching the gastrocnemius muscle and plantar fascia at the same time.

A. Place the affected foot slightly behind the healthy foot.

Bend both knees while keeping both heels planted on the floor to stretch the back of the affected foot just above the heel.

Or

  1. Stand straight and slightly place your unaffected foot in front of your foot with pain in fasciitis.
  2. Keeping your heels firmly on the floor, lower yourself toward the ground by bending your knees until you feel a stretch above the heel of your affected foot.
  3. Hold for one minute and then repeat three times.
  4. Do the exercise three times a day.

3. Achilles/Gastrocnemius Stretch

This exercise strengthens the calf muscles and heel cord, providing additional support for the foot.

Sit on the edge of a step or chair with the heel of your foot hanging off the back.

B. Lower your heels down carefully until you feel a stretch.

Dip and elevate your heels for 30 seconds.

Or

  1. Stand upright on a step, positioning the ball of the affected foot, so the heel hangs off the back of the step.
  2. Lower your heel until you feel a stretch at the bottom of your foot.
  3. Lower and raise your heels repeatedly for 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat the exercise three times.

4. Plantar Fascia Stretch

This stretch is powerful in restoring the range of motion in the ankle, heel cord, and fasciae, making it one of the best resistance band stretches for plantar fasciitis.

B. Sit on the floor with your affected leg out in front of you and loop an elastic therapy band around your foot.

To stretch your plantar fascia, start by looping a band around the ball of your foot. Then, use the band to pull your toes up towards your nose, keeping your leg on the ground. You should feel a stretch on the bottom of your foot and on the back of your heel. For the best results, do this stretch before getting out of bed first thing in the morning. This will help improve plantar fasciitis pain that is associated with the first few steps in the morning.

Or

  1. Sit down and extend the leg with the affected foot.
  2. Place an elastic therapy band around the ball of the foot, keeping hold of the band.
  3. Pull the band until your toes are pulled toward your nose, and you feel the bottom of your foot and the back of your heel stretch—remember to keep your leg on the ground.
  4. Hold for one minute.
  5. Repeat three times.

5. Towel Toe Curls

Curl your toes up as tightly as you can and hold for three to five seconds before releasing.

B. Sit on a chair with feet flat on the floor. Grasp a towel with toes on the affected foot and scrunch the towel. Release the towel and relax the foot.

Or

  1. Stand on a towel placed on the floor.
  2. Curl your towel to grip the towel.
  3. Release the towel by straightening your toes.
  4. Repeat the exercise for about two minutes.
  5. Do the exercise three times a day.

6. Plantar Fascia Massage

It is not only important to stretch and strengthen parts of the feet and ankle, but massage can also be a powerful tool in restoring normal tissues to plantar fasciitis.

Roll a small massage ball back and forth across the bottom of your arch and heel. This can also be done with a frozen water bottle, which will simultaneously ice your arch.

Or

  1. Roll a massage ball of the appropriate size backwards and forwards on the arch and heel of your affected foot—If you don’t have a massage ball, use a frozen water bottle.
  2. Do this for five minutes three times a day.

7. Toe Extensions

This exercise, designed to build strength and restore mobility in different ranges of motion of the foot, is a powerful reliever for plantar fasciitis pain.

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then place the foot with the injury behind the other foot.

contract the calf muscles of your back leg and lift your heel until your toes are maximally extended.

Or

  1. Stand straight and place your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Move one foot in front of the other.
  3. Lift the heel of your back foot and contract the calf muscles until you cannot extend your toes any further.
  4. Repeat fifteen times.
  5. Do five sets of this exercise every day

Prevention is better than cure

You can do things to try to prevent plantar fasciitis from developing, like stretching and exercising, as well as maintaining a healthy weight.

Another way to reduce heel pain is to replace old, worn-out athletic shoes with a new pair that offers the best cushioning and support. The right shoes will protect against impact and reduce the chances of heel pain.

There are some cases where you will need medical assistance, even if you are stretching, maintaining a healthy weight, and wearing the right shoes.

If the condition does not show any improvement after two weeks of at-home treatment, consult a doctor or specialist to resolve the issue quickly and without pain.

 

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