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Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic

Stretches for Heel Pain Relief

"Hi this is Dr. Silvester and I’m just going to show you a little bit how to stretch the plantar fascia. What this is for is for people that have heel pain that’s associated with inflammation of the ligament on the bottom of the foot. 

There are several tricks to make this work and we’re going to try to show it to you with this video. The first thing is if you look down at her feet, Laura’s already in a position where she can do it - you’ve got to get your toes up 3 or 4 inches off the ground. It depends on the size of your foot - you can go a little higher if you want, and then slowly bend your knee forward. Now, what happens is when you do that you probably won’t feel too much on the bottom of your foot down here but you’ll feel it back here mostly. 

That’s okay because that’s where the body has stretch receptors in the back of your leg. So, what will happen is you’ll feel it back here but not too much on the bottom of the foot. You’ll hold that for about two minutes, three or four times a day. Especially first thing in the morning do this, because that’s usually when people have a lot of pain in the plantar fascia, is in the morning. Do that for a couple of minutes and do that three or four times a day, and if you do it frequently enough, it will help loosen up that plantar fascia and probably decrease your pain.

The other thing you need to remember about this is you don’t move or bounce. A lot of people go, “Well I’m going to do this,” and they move their knee back and forth. That’s not a good stretch. That can cause damage to tissue. It’s just a nice easy stretch over a long period of time. The other thing I tell patients is if they have a sit down job, they can do this while they’re sitting down. So you just sit down and slide your knee forward, close to the wall with your foot up and your heel down. That’s the plantar fascia stretch! Thanks!"