Top 5 Stretching Exercises For Plantar Fasciitis
Stretching exercises are one of the most helpful and probably also the easiest way of dealing with plantar fasciitis. Most of these exercise routines aim at making the plantar fascia ligament more flexible and strengthening the muscles supporting the arch to reduce the stress on this ligament. But, to get the maximum benefits from these strengthening exercises, it is always important to know the best ones to do and how to do it.
So which are the best stretching exercises for plantar fasciitis?
#1 Calf Muscle Stretches
Tight calf muscles are among the main contributing factors for problematic heels. And so any stretches that make them flexible can be helpful in reducing the tension in your plantar fascia. Here is a simple calf muscle stretch exercise that you should try out.
- Stand to face a wall and with your hands on it at about eye level.
- Put the problematic leg or the one you want to stretch a step behind the other.
- While keeping the heel on the back foot on the floor, you should bend the front knee until you feel the back leg stretching.
- Hold the stretching for at least 15 seconds before changing the position to pull the other calf and repeat the routine about three or four times daily.
#2 Towel Stretch
Towel stretches are an excellent exercise when you want to make the plantar fascia more flexible, and they can help in healing and prevention of future injuries.
- Place a medium size towel under the ball of one or both the feet and hold it at both ends tightly.
- The next step is to pull the towel towards you (gently) but ensure that your knees remain straight when doing this.
- Hold the posture for about 20 to 30 seconds and repeat the stretch at least twice daily.
Moving the towel around helps to massage the affected tissues, and you can also use a warm one for some extra relief.
#3 Tennis Ball Exercise
The tennis ball exercise also helps in strengthening and making your plantar fascia ligament more flexible. When you sleep or rest for long the plantar fascia will tighten and shorten which is what makes your first steps painful.
- For this stretching exercise, you can use either a tennis ball or a rolling pin.
- While on a seating position you should roll the ball/pin back and forth with the arch of your foot and from the heel to the front.
- If it does not feel excessively painful, you can then proceed to do the exercise when standing for about 5 minutes.
#4 Plantar Fascia Stretching
Stretching your plantar fascia makes it flexible and can also help to reduce the heal pain. It is one of the most beneficial stretching exercises for plantar fasciitis, and you should do it before and after any physical activity and several times throughout the day.
- Stand on a step and hold on to the nearby banister to prevent accidental falls.
- You should then let your heels down over the edge (of the step) while relaxing the calf muscles. If you do the stretch right, you will feel a gentle stretch at the bottom of your foot and at the back of your leg and all the way to the knee.
- Hold this position for 25 seconds or more and then bring back the heel to the level of the step by tightening your calf muscles. You should do the stretch three or more times every day.
#5 Thumb Massaging
Thumb massage is not what comes to mind when you think of stretching exercise for plantar fasciitis, but it is still a useful remedy. You should try rubbing your thumb over the painful area because this will help the tissues firm up as they heal. Also, using essential oils for plantar fasciitis like eucalyptus, chamomile and tea tree to massage your feet can also be helpful. These oils not only make the massage easier but also help to reduce inflammation and to ease the pain.
There are many remedies and treatments that you can use to deal with plantar fasciitis but regardless of what you opt for it is always a good idea to combine it with stretching exercises. These exercises will not only help to reduce inflammation and in healing but also strengthen and make the plantar fascia more flexible to prevent future injuries. However, to get the best results, you should do them at least twice daily and combine several instead of just focusing on one.
Author Bio: Patrick Greer, the Founder of Fix Your Walk. I build the website in order to help the people who are suffering from foot pain.