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How to Exercise Your Way to Plantar Fasciitis Relief

How to Exercise Your Way to Plantar Fasciitis Relief

Each year in the United States, two million people seek help for the sole and heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Sure, taking ibuprofen might bring you some relief, but the real results come from stretching and exercising your plantar fascia.

If you devote yourself to your plantar fascia for a few minutes each day, you can not only relieve your current plantar fasciitis but also go a long way toward preventing the issue in the future.

To get you started, our team of foot health experts at Neuhaus Foot and Ankle pulled together a few of the best exercises and stretches for plantar fasciitis.

Have a ball or a can of corn

At the heart of your plantar fasciitis is inflammation in your plantar fascia, the tough band of tissue that stretches from the balls of your feet to your heels. 

The first step is to massage the tissue to get it to loosen, and a great way to do that is to roll your foot over a ball, such as a soft tennis ball. Simply sit in a chair, place a ball under your foot, and move your foot over the ball, back to front and side and in circles.

If you don’t have a ball, you can roll the underside of your foot over some canned goods.

Tip: To really get the most out of this massage, you can use a bottle of frozen water, which will do double duty in massaging your feet and reducing inflammation.

Use the stairs

It can be difficult to target and stretch your plantar fascia, but you likely have the ideal exercise machine right in your house — stairs. All you need is one step to place the front of your foot. Next, allow your heel to dip down below the step and hold the stretch. Do this in sets of 10 and raise up onto your toes between each dip.

Calf stretches

Many people with plantar fasciitis also have tight calf muscles, so we want you to ensure these tissues are supple. A great way to stretch your calves is to place your hands on a wall and put one leg back. Slowly bend your front leg while balancing with your hands against the wall and feel the stretch across the back leg.

Stretch the calf muscles on each leg and do about 10 repetitions on each side.

Toe stretches

While you’re seated or while watching TV, cross one leg over the other and bring the foot on the crossed leg toward you. Grab your big toe and stretch it backward. Hold the stretch for about 10 seconds, then release. Do this on both big toes, and you should aim for 10 reps.

Right after you stretch your big toe back, grab a towel and loop it around the underside of one foot. Now, hold the ends of the towel with each hand and draw your foot toward your body, stretching your toes forward and back. Perform this towel exercise with each foot and try to get about 10 reps on each side.

Remember, the efforts you make now will alleviate your current plantar fasciitis discomfort and, if you continue the exercises from time to time, will help keep plantar fasciitis from returning in the future.

If you’d like more exercise ideas for your plantar fasciitis pain, contact one of our offices in Hermitage, Brentwood, Nashville, Mount Juliet, Waverly, Smyrna, Gallatin, Columbia, Pulaski, Hendersonville, or Lebanon, Tennessee, to set up an appointment.

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