What is plantar fasciitis?

You probably never really thought about the band of tissue that runs under your foot connecting your toes to your heel, until the pain started. The plantar fascia is the name of this thin ligament and the most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is caused by a repetitive motion from things like running or the added pressure from weight gain.

If you have heel pain and know that it is plantar fasciitis, then I am sure you already know everything we have mention here already. However, did you know that you can easily alleviate the pain that you are, just by doing a few simple stretches? If you didn’t, then stick around because we are going to take a look at some of these stretches below.

If you have heel pain and are not sure of the cause just yet, get it checked out by a local podiatrist before trying these exercises. Failing to do so may result in a longer recovery time and more damage being done. Keeping that in mind, here’s a few simple exercises to help alleviate the pain that stems from plantar fasciitis.

Exercises that help with plantar fasciitis

Stretch your calves

  1. Stand at arm’s length from a wall
  2. Place your right foot behind your left
  3. Gently and slowly bend your left leg forward with your palms on the wall
  4. Keep your right knee straight and your right heel on the ground
  5. Hold this for 15 – 30 seconds and release, repeat this three times and then switch the positions of your legs and repeat.

Grab a chair and have a seat

  1. While seated, roll your foot over a foam roller; back and forth. If you don’t have a foam roller, a frozen water bottle or ice-cold can of drink can be used. Do this for one minute; then switch to the other foot.
  2. Cross one leg over the other one and get ready for the big toe stretch. Grab your big toe and pull it gently towards you, hold this for 15 – 30 seconds, do this three times and then switch to the other foot.
  3. Fold a towel to use as an exercise strap. Place the towel under your foot (in the arch), grab the ends of the towel with both hands and pull the top of your foot towards you. Hold this for 15-30 seconds, repeat three times and then switch to your other foot.

If you are just starting out with these stretches, go slowly. Hold the stretches for about 15 seconds and then start increasing the time as the ligament begins to loosen up and the pain starts to decrease. You will need to give up running for awhile, at least until the inflammation in the ligament calms down.

We hope these stretches help you with your plantar fasciitis. If you would like to find out more about the condition, we have plenty of articles on our blog related to it. Alternatively, feel free to pop in and see us if you would like our help diagnosing a condition.