Stretches for Heel Pain

 

 

Specially designed foot and ankle stretches for Heel Pain are an important component of any effective treatment plan. While stretches will relieve pain their primary use is to address the underlying condition that is causing the pain to occur. Heel Pain often develops when muscles and ligaments become tight or inflexible, and while a shortening of the ligaments found in the arch of the foot are often to blame stiff calf muscles and/or Achilles tendon can cause serious problems as well.

Heel Pain stretches are effective because they lengthen and loosen the Achilles tendon, the calf muscles, and the plantar fascia that runs through the sole of the foot. When these muscles loosen over-pronation of the feet is often corrected and inflammation is greatly reduced. This lessens heel pain during weight bearing activities and upon waking in the morning.

How to do the Stretches for Heel Pain

Stretches for Heel Pain can be done at home as they do not require special equipment or any type of training to complete. This makes them a very accessible option as well as a very effective one. For optimum results stretching should be done twice a day; once when you get up in the morning and again before you go to bed. If you experience discomfort during the day (or if you simply have a few extra moments) you can perform these stretches more often.

You don’t have to perform all of the stretches at once—if you prefer to do them in groups of two or three that’s fine, just make sure that you are performing them consistently or you won’t experience the benefits. Be sure to do the exercises with both feet and not just the foot that is causing you pain.

If you’re pain is severe or you aren’t very active then it’s important to start slowly and feel your way through every exercise. You can perform fewer repetitions when you first start and then work your way up to the recommended level.

Foot Flex:  This exercise should be performed before you even get out of bed in the morning! It will help stretch the plantar fascia and prevent the intense heel pain that often occurs upon waking. It’s also a good way to reduce pain and stiffness throughout the day.

  • Sit up in bed with your legs straight out in front of you.
  • Gently point your toes down toward the blankets and then up toward the ceiling.
  • Your legs shouldn’t be moving as the flexion occurs in the ankle.
  • Repeat 10 times. Rest for 10 seconds then repeat again up to a maximum of 5 times.

Towel Flex: This exercise should be performed both morning and night. The only equipment you need is a towel folded in lengthwise and a belt or exercise band.

  • Sit on the bed or floor with your legs straight out in front you.
  • Keep your knees straight.
  • Wrap the towel around the ball of your left foot. Hold each end of the towel in your hands.
  • Keep your back straight as you pull on the towel. This will flex your foot and your heel may rise slightly off of the floor.
  • Hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Rest for 5 seconds then repeat again up to a maximum of 5 times.
  • Switch to your right leg and repeat.

Stair Stretch:  This exercise should be performed twice daily minimum. Add it elsewhere to your day if at all possible; aside from treating Heel Pain it is generally a very relaxing exercise to perform.

  • Stand with the balls of your feet on a low step with your heels hanging off edge.
  • Gently lower your heels; let your body weight stretch your Achilles tendon and calf muscles.
  • Hold for 10 to 20 seconds. Rest for 5 seconds then repeat again up to a maximum of 5 times.

Calf Stretch:  This exercise should be performed after any type of weight bearing activity, including standing for long periods of time. Perform at least daily but try to sprinkle a few stretches throughout your day as well.

  • Stand in front of a blank wall and press your hands into it at shoulder height.
  • Place your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Take one step forward with your left foot and bend that knee.
  • Keep your back leg straight as this is the leg being stretched.
  • Keep both heels on the floor and move your weight forward until you feel a stretch in the calf muscle in your back leg.
  • Hold for 10 to 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds then repeat again up to a maximum of 5 times.
  • Stand up straight, shake out your legs, and repeat with the other leg.

Quad Stretch: This stretch targets the muscles at the back of the hip and thigh as well as the calf muscles and Achilles tendon. You can hold onto a wall or chair for stability while performing this stretch if you wish.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Stretch your left leg out in front of you.
  • Lift the toes of your left foot off the floor and point them toward the ceiling.
  • Bend your right knee and place your hands on the thigh of your left leg.
  • Lean forward by pushing your hips backward.
  • You should feel an intense stretch right in your left leg.
  • Hold for 10 to 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds then repeat again up to a maximum of 4 times.
  • Switch legs and repeat.

Forming good habits is essential when using stretches for Heel Pain to speed up recovery and correct underlying conditions. Be sure to warm up before getting out of bed in the morning and follow the rest of your routine faithfully throughout the day. Stretches for Heel Pain are quiet effective in reducing pain and inflammation when regularly performed.

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