Plantar Fasciitis Stretching Exercise

By Darin McGilvra

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of a thick, fibrous band that runs along the bottom of the foot. It usually comes because of repeated trauma to the bottom of the foot, such as running or jumping. It can be a stubborn, painful injury, especially for those who do a lot of walking--such as golfers--and can take many months to heal. Stretching exercises are important for the healing process, since decreased flexibility and tightness in the Achilles' tendons are a common problem with this condition. Here are a few suggestions.

Sitting Stretches

Sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you, loop a towel around the top of the injured foot. Slowly pull the towel toward your body until you feel the foot stretch. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and then let it relax. Do this 5 to 10 times.

Another version of this stretch is to use your hands instead of the towel and to bend your knee so you can reach the foot.

Kneeling Stretches

Kneel on the ground with your injured foot on the floor and your opposite knee on the ground. Put your body weight over the leg with the injured foot and lean forward while keeping the heal on the ground. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds. Do this five times.

Kneel on the ground with your good foot on the ground. Place your hands on the ground in front of you and put the toes of your injured foot on the ground underneath you and the knee of the same leg a few inches above the ground. Dip your knee toward the ground while keeping the toes on the ground and arching your foot to stretch it. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds. Do this five times.

Standing Stretches

Place a frozen juice can on a smooth, hard floor and roll it back and forth with the injured foot. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes. This will stretch the foot and the cold can help with inflammation.

Place marbles on the floor next to a cup. With your injured foot, pick up the marbles with your toes and place them in the cup. Do this a total of 15 times.

Stand on a step with the balls of your feet. While holding onto a railing for balance, slowly lower your heel to stretch the foot. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds. Do this five times.

Stand with your arms stretched out against a wall at about eye level. With your injured foot a little behind you and your good foot a little in front of you, lean forward against the wall until you feel the back leg stretch. Hold this for 15 to 20 seconds. Do this five times.

About The Author

Darin McGilvra is a writer in Southern California. He has been a writer since 1997. He worked as a sports writer and copy editor for newspapers for more than 12 years before becoming a freelance writer. His articles have appeared recently in "The Californian" newspaper in Temecula, Calif. McGilvra holds a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics education from Northwest Nazarene College.

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