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Heel Pain? Try These Simple Stretches for Plantar Fasciitis

Everyone experiences a little heel pain from time to time, especially if you spend a lot of time on your feet or in uncomfortable shoes that don’t provide enough support. But chronic heel pain can be a sign of plantar fasciitis, one of the most common foot and ankle injuries. Jeremy Moran, DPM, in Tomball, Texas will identify the source of your heel pain and help to get you back on your feet in no time.

Causes and symptoms of plantar fasciitis

The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is a sharp, stabbing pain on the bottom of the heel, which is usually most intense right after waking up in the morning or after long periods of sitting or rest. With plantar fasciitis, you typically feel pain or stiffness in the heel after exercise or physical exertion, not during the activity itself.

Plantar fasciitis is the result of inflammation or small tears to the plantar fascia, the long band of tissue (ligament) that stretches from your ankle to the base of the toes. It supports your arch and provides shock absorption when you walk, jump, bend, and move your feet. Anyone can develop plantar fasciitis, but there are a few factors that can increase the risk or make you more susceptible:

However there isn’t always a definitive or clear-cut cause for developing plantar fasciitis, so it’s possible to strain it and experience heel pain even if you don’t meet any of the common risk factors.

Stretches for plantar fasciitis related heel pain

Plantar fasciitis usually heals on its own or with conservative treatment like rest and stretching. Here are a few stretches that you can do at home (or under your desk at work):

Calf stretch

Place both arms on a wall in front of you. With your body in plank position, bring your right leg forward and bend into a stretch, keeping your right foot on the floor and your left leg straight with the left foot flat on the ground. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, aiming for two to three reps on each leg.

Seated stretch

This is one of the easiest plantar fasciitis stretches and also acts as a massage for sore feet and arches. Sitting straight up in a chair, use a foam roller if you have one, otherwise a water bottle will also do the trick. Place the arch of your foot over the roller or water bottle and gently roll back and forth for at least one minute one each foot. 

Big toe stretch

With one leg crossed over the other, gently stretch your big toe towards your body and hold for 30 seconds to a minute. Aim for at least three reps on each foot.

If you have flat feet (low arches), you may also benefit from custom orthotics. These removable insoles for your shoes provide additional arch support and keep your ankles in alignment to prevent foot problems and lower your risk of injuries.

Don’t wait until foot and ankle pain interferes with your physical activities and daily routine. For more information about plantar fasciitis and other foot and ankle injuries, call our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Moran.

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