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The Best Exercises to Do for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis can be treated in a number of ways, such as simple exercises. Find out the best ones by reading this article.

Joel Taylor
By Joel Taylor

Updated February 17, 2023.

Plantar fasciitis is a condition categorized by the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs under the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. It can be caused by excessive stress to the area and can be very painful.

Although plantar fasciitis usually goes away after a while, there are some exercises that can be performed in order to speed up the recovery and bring some relief to unnecessary heel pain.

Eccentric Stretching for Plantar Fasciitis

Eccentric stretches are defined as "exercises performed under load while the muscle lengthens," which are extremely effective in treating plantar fasciitis in the long term. Some exercises that you can do are:

Stretching the Plantar Fascia

The morning is commonly the most painful time for plantar fasciitis sufferers due to the tightened muscles suddenly being stretched.

To alleviate this, follow the steps below:

  1. Before getting out of bed, place your heel on the surface of your bed and lift the rest of your foot up.
  2. Place your hand over your toes.
  3. Gently pull them back as far as you can.
  4. Switch feet and repeat for multiple sets.

In addition, you can stretch the plantar fascia throughout the day (even every hour if you must). You can create the same stretch as above by placing the ball of your foot on the floor and lifting your heel up (either sitting or standing), then gently transferring your weight forward and over your foot (while keeping the ball of your foot on the floor).

Stretching the Connecting Muscles and Tendons

The plantar fascia connects to both the Achilles tendon and calf muscles, and so you can also find some relief by stretching these connecting tissues.

To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Find a wall to lean against.
  2. Place one foot about a few inches away from the wall as an anchor.
  3. The other foot is the one we'll focus on, which you should place about a meter behind with your toes facing the wall.
  4. Keeping your back knee straight and your foot flat against the floor, lean toward the wall back and forth (almost as if you're doing vertical push-ups).
  5. After a few reps, switch feet and repeat for multiple sets.

A Final Thought

Exercises can be an effective treatment for plantar fasciitis, but they work best in conjunction with other treatments such as foot massages, the use of ice packs, and custom orthotics (in the event of serious cases).