Stretching to Relieve Your Heel Pain

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As the weather gets warmer, more and more Long Islanders who have plodded through another harsh New York Winter are getting active again.  After months of reduced or non-activity, aches and pains will occur during the first few weeks of activity.  This can make staying active a challenge and those struggling with heel pain, particularly from plantar fasciitis, already understand how it can limit mobility and make activities more difficult. Fortunately, there are therapies like stretching to help relieve that pain and restore some independence.

Plantar fasciitis can be hard to treat. The best approaches actually use multiple therapies to manage it, particularly custom orthotics, shoe changes, and shockwave. Stretching the tightened, stiffened plantar fascia band in addition to these treatments is one more way to reduce the pressure on your heel bone. Strengthening the supporting muscles around the limb can help stabilize the foot and reduce the tension as well. Most stretches for heel pain are simple and don’t require any special equipment, either, so you can add them to your daily routines at home. Here are some of the best:

  • Sitting plantar stretch – Sit with your painful foot crossed on your knee. Flex your foot and use your hands to gently pull your toes back toward your shins. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat.
  • Wall and book exercise – Put a phone book or other comparably thick object a foot or so from a wall. Stand on it with your heels hanging off the back edge. Put your hands against the wall and lean forward slowly, keeping your knees straight, until you feel the stretch in the back of your legs.
  • Bent knee stretch – Stand a foot or so from a wall, with one foot several inches behind the other. Bend both knees, but keep your heels flat on the ground. Lean forward into the wall, until you feel the stretch behind your legs.
  • Ball massage – Sitting in a chair, use your foot to roll a golf or tennis ball around on the ground and massage your sole.
  • Toe pick-ups – Using just your toes, pick up marbles, towels, and other small objects and move them.


Stretching and exercising your lower limbs can be very helpful for relieving plantar fasciitis pain when paired with other therapies. Loosening the tightened tissues in the morning is especially beneficial, since your plantar fascia tends to swell and stiffen overnight.

If you’re struggling with painful heels, or you aren’t sure how to perform any of these stretches, Country Foot Care is happy to help. To arrange an appointment you can call our offices to speak with a member of our staff or you can request an appointment by clicking on the MAKE AN APPOINTMENT button at the top of this page.

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