Plantar fasciitis results in heel pain that can take a very long time to improve. Longtime sufferers of this inflammation of the plantar fascia – the thick ligament that runs along your arch, connecting your heel to your toes – are well aware of the number of ways to deal with the pain:
- Just stay off of it. Sure, as if that were practical for anyone who has kids or a job! But that’s just one of the reasons plantar fasciitis sticks around for so long. We’re too busy to give it complete rest.
- Ice it. Okay, this one’s a little easier. At least when we do sit down at the end of the workday, it’s fairly simple to apply the coolness that calms down the inflamed fascia.
- Take pain relievers. Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen also do a good job of reducing tissue inflammation.
- Keep the plantar fascia stretched out through targeted exercise.
Exercises for heel pain
Here are some specific exercises that you can perform at home or at work to speed up your heel’s healing process:
- Calf stretches: place your palms against a wall and plant your feet out behind you, away from the wall. Place your left foot forward and your right foot in back. Keeping your right heel on the floor, bend your left knee and feel the stretch in your right calf. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. Do each set three times.
- Heel rolling: sit down and place your foot on a foam roller. Apply gentle pressure to roll the foam roller back and forth along the bottom of your foot. You may also use a chilled water bottle instead of the foam roller.
- Heel stretching: while seated, place a folded towel under the arch of your foot. Holding the ends of the towel, use it to pull the tops of your feet upward. Hold the stretch for about 15 seconds. Repeat three times.
Remember, the expert podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland, Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey, can show you how to do these exercises at our state-of-the-art facility in Solon, Ohio. Some other tools we can offer you to eradicate plantar fasciitis pain include prescription-strength medications, night splints, and custom orthotics. Contact us for an appointment or call us at (440) 903-1041. For your convenience, we offer early, late, and Saturday hours by appointment.