The Best Plantar Fasciitis Stretch
Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain, and often times there are easy things you can do to help relieve pain and move forward with treatment. Now before we get started on some potential stretches, it’s good to know that this is NOT a replacement for seeing a doctor and having your condition properly diagnosed or treated. This is especially true for anyone dealing with chronic heel pain (that is, pain that has lasted for at least 8 weeks – you’ll need special treatment for that).
What You Will Need
- You and your feet
- A block of wood 1.5” – 2” thick (a 2×4) a book will also work
- A wall
- A little bit of time every day
The Heel Pain Stretch
This stretch below is helpful for many different types of heel pain, especially since it involves stretching your Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon connects to multiple parts of your heel to the knee area. It indirectly involves the Plantar Fascia, the inflamed tendon in the bottom of your foot. Since this is stretching the Achilles tendon, it also helps with heel pain related to Achilles tendinitis and for children with Sever’s disease (Link). Without further ado, here are the steps for heel pain (both a video AND step-by-step instructions below):
- Begin with one foot at a time
- Place your toes against the wall and place your block right behind your heel (one-foot length away)
- Step onto the block with 1/2 of your foot on top of the block
- Place your heel on the floor
- At this point, you should be feeling a mild to moderate stretch (mild tightness in the calf muscle), but it should NOT be painful. If it is, you may want the block to the wall or a block with less height.
- You should NEVER stretch in pain
- Stand completely straight, do not bend at your back or waist
- Put all your weight on your heel, holding for 2-3 minutes at a time.
- Switch to your other foot with the above instructions.
- Repeat until you have completed this sequence 3 times for each foot. Repeat this for a minimum of 3 times a day.
Next Steps – More Treatment Options You Should Consider
As we mentioned before, if you are experiencing heel pain, you should still seek out a professional to diagnose your heel pain. This is especially true if you have been dealing with heel pain for an extended period of time. Additionally, if the above simple stretches are too painful or are not helping, you should seek additional treatment options.
When we see patients for heel pain, one of the first treatments is a form of athletic taping. This allows us to test if orthotics would be something that helps treat your heel pain. Quite often, patients will start seeing an improvement in their heel pain within 2-5 days.
If patients experience pain relief, we then consider custom-made orthotics to provide continued support and prevent heel pain from coming back.
Laser therapy is a new technology that helps speed up healing in the body. If patients are experiencing large amounts of pain or desire a faster recovery, laser therapy will help. To learn more about laser therapy and all the uses it can provide, go to our Remy Laser page LINK.
We never start with this option, but there are rare cases where heel pain becomes chronic and can’t be treated using conservative treatment options. If you do fall into this category, we will have a conversation first to determine the best course of action, which may include the need for surgery.
Don’t Wait to Schedule An Appointment!
Heel pain should not be ignored and is far easier to treat when seen sooner. If you allow heel pain to become chronic, it changes the structure of your body, which then makes everything much harder to treat, and may extend recovery time.
If you have heel pain, call our office for an appointment. We can often see patients the same or the next day and accept most insurances. We look forward to serving you!
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