Say goodbye to heel pain with the help of these simple, easy-to-do plantar fasciitis stretches. Keep reading to find out more about them.
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7 Plantar Fasciitis Stretches to Get Rid of Heel Pain
1. Towel Toe Curls
Towel toe curls are one of the simplest yet most effective stretches for plantar fasciitis pain relief. These can relax your nerves, loosen tight muscles, and promote joint lubrication.
You can perform this exercise anywhere as long as you have a napkin or towel to step on.
- Place a piece of cloth or napkin on the floor and then take off your shoes or slippers.
- Step on the cloth/napkin with your painful foot. Make sure your toes are in the middle of the cloth/napkin.
- Try to crumple the towel toward the body by curling the toes. You should feel a deep stretch in your heels.
- Hold for one count then release. This is one rep.
- Repeat nine more times for a total of 10 reps, rest, and then do two more 10-rep sets.
- For best results, try to perform this exercise at least once or twice a day.
2. Towel Toe Stretch
This plantar fasciitis stretching exercise is good for the sharp, aching pain in your heel when you first get out of bed.
- Sit on the floor or bed with your back against the wall and legs extended straight in front.
- Next, wrap a towel around the sole of your irritated foot.
- Then, slowly pull the towel toward your body. You should feel a deep stretch running from your calf to your heels.
- Maintain this position for 45 seconds, rest, then repeat two to three more times.
- For best results, perform these plantar fasciitis stretches at least four to six times daily.
Tip: Make sure you have a towel within reach from your bed. That way, you won’t have to walk or stand up before you get the chance to loosen your heels.
3. Toe Extensions
Women who wear high-heeled shoes know just how irritated and swollen their feet can get after a long, tiring day. The damage would be even worse for those who aren’t used to wearing these kinds of shoes.
What makes this one of the best plantar fasciitis stretches for the modern working woman is that it’s very convenient and easy to do.
All you need are your toes, hands, and somewhere to sit on. Plus, it’s a very discreet exercise so you can bust out a few sets anywhere you are.
- Sit down on a knee-high chair or stool.
- Place the irritated foot on top of the other thigh by bending your knee. Your legs should form the figure four.
- Firmly grasp the toes with your hand and then bend the toes upward. Continue pulling until you feel a deep stretch in your heel.
- At the same time, use your other hand to massage the painful ankle.
- Maintain for at least 10 seconds.
- Rest and then do two to three more sets.
- For best results, strive to do at around two to four sets every day.
4. Elevated Calf Stretch
The elevated calf stretch isolates your irritated heel. This is ideal for seasoned stretchers who can handle a bit of extra pressure on their foot.
But if you suffer from anything that impairs your balance or joint strength, scan for other stretching options.
- Grab a small platform, about five inches tall.
- Stand on top of the platform with your irritated foot’s heel hanging off of it.
- Then, slowly lower your irritated heel until it’s hovering above the ground.
- Pause for about 45 seconds, rest, and then repeat two to three more times.
- For best results, perform this plantar fasciitis exercise four to six times daily.
5. Standing Calf Stretch
The standing calf stretch not only alleviates heel pain, but it also loosens your leg muscles. This makes it a great warm-up exercise for strenuous leg activities like squatting, sprinting, and jumping.
Even if your heels are fine, make sure you perform at least three sets of these plantar fasciitis stretches before exercising. That way, you can reduce the risk of injuries such as sprains, shin splints, or nerve irritation.
- Stand in front of a wall with the arms on the sides and feet shoulder-width apart.
- Then, step your irritated foot backward, place your hands on the wall, keep your back leg straight, and bend your front leg.
- Once you’ve positioned yourself, shift your weight forward by bending your front knee while keeping your back leg straight. You should feel a deep stretch in your calf muscle.
- Pause for 45 seconds, rest, and then repeat two to three more times.
- For best results, do this exercise at least four to six times every day.
6. Arch Roll Ice Massage
The arch roll ice massage is one of the most effective plantar fasciitis exercises anyone can do:
- Firstly, rolling the tool on your foot can help reduce nerve tension by gently massaging the sole. To apply more pressure on your foot, perform this exercise standing up.
- Secondly, the cold temperature coming from the tool can help speed up your recovery by decreasing inflammation. Make sure to use something that can stay frozen for five minutes.
- Lastly, the rolling motion creates a deep stretch in your heels. This isn’t something you can achieve through simple static stretching exercises.
- Sit on a chair then place a frozen bottle, can, or golf ball on the floor.
- Gently step on the frozen tool with your irritated foot. Make sure the object is in the middle of your foot.
- Then, slowly roll the frozen object back and forth across your foot.
- Continue rolling for three to five minutes.
- For best results, repeat this exercise at least twice a day.
7. Big Toe Stretch
The big toe stretch targets the inner part of your heel. This makes it ideal for people who feel irritation and aching in the instep arch and ankle.
Remember that the goal here isn’t to move your big toe, but rather, to stretch it forward and backward.
- Place your irritated leg over the other leg. Your knee should be on top of the other.
- Next, lean forward and grab your big toe with one hand.
- Then, slowly stretch your toe backward by pulling on it. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
- Afterward, push the toe forward as deep as you can. Hold for another 20-30 seconds.
- Repeat the entire set three times. For best results, perform this exercise at least three to four times daily.
The key to maximizing the benefits of these plantar fasciitis stretches is consistency. Strive to perform your chosen exercise for the recommended number of times daily.
If the pain persists, however, consider using anti-inflammatory supplements such as Body Protective Complex by Dr. Seeds. Doing so may speed up joint and ligament recovery through increased collagen synthesis.
Do you have any go-to plantar fasciitis stretches? Share with us in the comments section how you deal with heel pain.