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Foot Stretches to Prevent Plantar Fasciitis

August 25, 2009

Rest is the first treatment for plantar fasciitis. Try to keep weight off your foot until the inflammation goes away. You can also apply ice to the sore area for 20 minutes three or four times a day to relieve your symptoms. Often a doctor will prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen.

A program of home exercises to stretch your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia are the mainstay of treating the condition and lessening the chance of recurrence. Below you will find several foot stretches courtesy of the Mayo Foundation. As always, check with your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen.

Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds — don’t bounce — and do one or two repetitions two to three times a day.

Clockwise from upper left:

1. To strengthen arch muscles, place a towel on the floor, grab the towel with your toes and pull it toward you.

2. While sitting, grasp your toes and gently pull them toward you until you feel a stretch in the arch of your foot. Stretch one foot at a time.

3. Stand as shown, with your back leg straight and heel down. Move your hips forward until you feel a stretch in your calf. Switch legs and repeat.

4. Stand on a step near the bottom of your stairs, put your weight on the ball of one foot and slowly lower that heel until you feel your calf muscle stretching. Repeat on the other side.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Franci Wellen permalink
    September 7, 2009 11:36 pm

    Hello there,
    I have started with the stretches for this pain caursed by the Plantar Fuscitis – How long must I still carry on with this? I find a night it is real bad and first thing in the morning. I have always been very active but the last few months have not done much exercise. Could this be why?

  2. September 8, 2009 10:44 am

    Hi Franci,
    Statistics from the Mayo Clinic state that about 90 percent of the people who have plantar fasciitis recover with conservative treatments in just a few months.
    Here are some other non-surgical therapies you could try:

    1. Physical therapy. A physical therapist can instruct you in a series of exercises to stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon and to strengthen lower leg muscles, which stabilize your ankle and heel. A therapist may also teach you to apply athletic taping to support the bottom of your foot.

    2. Night splints. Your doctor may recommend wearing a splint fitted to your calf and foot while you sleep. This holds the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon in a lengthened position overnight so that they can be stretched more effectively.

    3. Orthotics. Your doctor may prescribe off-the-shelf or custom-fitted arch supports (orthotics) to help distribute pressure to your feet more evenly. Z-CoiL footwear has a built-in orthotic that can be customize and modified for your specific symptoms. You can find your local store by going to our website at http://www.zcoil.com and clicking on Store Locator.

    Hope this information helps relieve your pain from plantar fasciitis.

    -Heather

  3. September 16, 2009 11:11 am

    Nice Article. Have bookmarked your site! Keep it up!

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