Plantar Fasciitis – Physical Therapy techniques to get relief – Part 2

As mentioned in my previous post, as soon as swelling and pain begin to subside it is important to start a proper stretching program. The stretching should be gentle and prolonged, using a slow, static stretch. Each stretch should be performed three times a day holding each stretch for one minute and repeating five times each session. Stretching exercises should include the gastroc, soleus and intrinsic muscles of the foot.

Stretching exercises:

Long Sitting Stretch
1) Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you
2) Loop a towel around the top of your affected foot
3) Pull the towel towards you until a stretch is felt across the bottom of your foot
4) Hold for 30 seconds then relax – repeat 5 times

Achilles Stretch
1) Stand facing a wall and place your hands straight out on the wall
2) Step back with your affected foot keeping it facing forward and flat on the floor
3) Move the other leg forward and slowly lean in toward the wall
4) Stop when you feel a stretch through the calf
5) Hold for 30 seconds then relax – repeat 5 times

Stair Stretch
1) Stand on a step on the balls of your feet
2) Hold the rail for balance, if available
3) Slowly lower the heel of the injured foot until a stretch is felt
4) Hold for 30 seconds then relax – repeat 5 times

Can rollPhysical Therapy Exercise
1) Roll your affected foot (without a shoe on) back and forth from the tip of the toes to the heel over a can, water bottle or tennis ball
2) Repeat ten times in both directions


Toe Stretch
1) Sit on the floor with your knee bent and foot flat on the floor
2) Pull the toes back on the affected foot until stretch across the arch is felt
3) Hold for 30 seconds then relax – repeat 5 times

Once muscle flexibility is attained, and you remain pain free, strengthening the involved muscles is your goal. An appropriate strengthening program will help prevent the reoccurrence of this condition. The following exercises performed three times per day for 30 times each session will help provide muscular support to a weakened plantar fascia.

Strengthening exercises:
1) Toe curls using a towel to strengthen intrinsic muscles of the foot
2) Heel raises (unilateral and bilateral)

Plantar fasciitis sufferers can return to pain-free, full-activity with proper rehabilitation. Return to activity should be gradual and guided by your pain. Proper footwear and a stretching and strengthening program can help prevent reoccurrence of this condition.



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