Plantar Fasciitis Exercises + Orthotics
The Most Effective Heel Pain Relief
The exercises described below are recommended by Podiatrists and physiotherapists and should be combined with the use of custom made or over-the-counter orthotic insoles for the relief of heel pain as a result of plantar fasciitis.
IMPORTANT: These stretching exercises should not cause pain, but rather a pulling or stretching feeling along the bottom of the foot. It is recommended you attempt to do each exercise 2 or 3 times throughout the day.
Heel Pain Exercises: Before getting out of Bed
Plantar Fasciitis causes many people to experience intense heel and arch pain in the morning when taking their first steps after getting out of bed. This pain comes from the tightening of the plantar fascia that occurs during sleep. Stretching or massaging the plantar fascia before standing up will help reduce heel pain.
- 1) Before sitting up, Stretch your foot by flexing it up and down 10 times.
- 2) While seated, roll a rolling pin or tennis ball with the arch of your foot. If you are able to, progress to doing this exercise while you are standing up.
After these exercises, put on your shoes (with orthotics inside them) or wear supportive sandals. Do not start the day walking barefoot on hard floors or tiles or your heel pain will return.
Heel Pain Relief Exercises: During the Day
Stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall at about eye level. Put the leg you want to stretch about a step behind your other leg.Keeping your back heel on the floor, bend your front knee until you feel a stretch in the back leg. Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds. Repeat 4 times.
Achilles Tendon Stretch
Stand on a step as shown. Slowly let your heels down over the edge of the step as you relax your calf muscles. Hold the stretch for about 15 to 20 seconds, then tighten your calf muscle a little to bring your heel back up to the level of the step. Repeat 4 times.
Extend one leg in front of you with the foot flexed. Bend your other knee and lean back slightly. Your pelvis should be tilted forward. Keep your upper body upright as you hold the stretch for 10-20 seconds, then switch sides. You should feel the stretch up the back of your extended leg (all the way up your calf and thigh).
Place marbles on the floor next to a cup, as shown. Using your toes, try to lift the marbles up from the floor and deposit them in the cup. Repeat 15 times.
Grab a rolled towel at both ends, holding it under the ball of your foot. Gently pull the towel toward you while keeping your knee straight. Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds. Repeat 4 times.