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Stretching Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis/Heel Pain.


Stretching exercises are a key and vital part of the rehabilitation process to not only reduce your symptoms, but prevent future recurrences of plantar fasciitis as well. Exercies for recovery from or prevention of plantar fasciitis are generally divided into two types: 1)Stretching and 2)Strengthening Exercises.


These exercies are used to increase the flexibility of the muscles of the thigh, the calf, and the fascia itself. Tightness in the muscles of the leg can result in disproportionate stress being applied to the plantar fascia during walking and running, thereby increasing the risk of injury. Stretching exercises for the plantar fascia can increase the flexibility and reduce the potential for damage.

Routine stretching is very important to healing plantar fasciitis. Most of those affected by plantar fasciitis have decreased flexibility and tight Achilles Tendons.


Towel Stretch
Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Loop a towel around the top of the injured foot. Slowly pull the towel towards to keeping your body straight. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds then relax - repeat 10 times.


Calf/Achilles Stretch
Stand facing a wall place your hands on the wall chest high. Move the injured heel back and with the foot flat on the floor. Move the other leg forward and slowly lean toward the wall until you feel a stretch through the calf, hold and repeat. Keep both feet flat and the rearmost leg straight. Leave forward without arching your back. Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds, release, and then repeat 6-8 times. Repeat with opposite leg.



Stair Gastrocnemius (Calf) Stretch
Stand on a step on the balls for your feet, hold the rail or wall for balance. Slow lower the heel of the injured foot to stretch the arch of your foot. Rise as high as possible on your toes and then lower yourself slowly as far as you can without rolling the foot inward or outward until you feel a stretch in your calf. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds and repeat on each foot 10-20 times.




Seated Plantar Fascia Stretch
During normal walking, the plantar fascia lengthens and then shortens as the foot lands. If the fascia is insufficiently elastic, repetitive lengthening and shortening can result in damage to the fibers of the fascia with subsequent inflammation. This exercise can stretch the fascia and improve its flexibility and help it withstand stresses that are placed on it daily without incurring damage. Sit on the floor, chair or edge of the bed with knee bent.Place the fingers of the hand on the same side as the crossed leg around the base of the toes and pull toes back toward shin while keeping leg steady until a stretch is felt on the bottom of the foot. This exercies is great before taking the first steps of the day or after prolonged sitting or inactivity. Hold 15 seconds and repeat 5-7 times alternating each foot.


Rolling Stretch

Sit on the edge of a bed and place your foot on a frozen 2-Liter bottle filled with water or utilizing a frozen juice can. Roll the foot over the bottle while maintaining pressure against it. Continue rolling for 30-60 seconds, stop, and then repeat for a total of 5 times. This should be done 3 times a day. This is a good exercise after activity because not only stretches the plantar fascia but provides cold therapy to the injured area.