Reduce heel pain with simple physical therapy exercises for Plantar Fasciitis

Reduce heel pain with simple physical therapy exercises for Plantar Fasciitis

Consider a rubber band stretched from your heel to your toes across the bottom of your foot. This rubber band is a plantar fascia ligament that supports the arch of your foot.

Consider a stabbing pain on the sole of your foot or a sharp discomfort in your heel. A doctor may notify you that you have plantar fasciitis after some testing and diagnosis. Any type of "-itis" may seem intimidating, but "fasciitis" just implies that the rubber band is inflamed. It also implies that you may require treatment to get back on your feet.

 What are the Signs and Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

The most typical symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel discomfort, which manifests itself in the following situations:

  • The pain begins in the morning and develops throughout the day.
  • Standing for long periods of time causes you agony.
  • When you climb stairs or stand on your toes, your agony worsens.
Plantar Fasciitis Therapy - Aim Sports Medicine

While heel pain is the most common symptom, it is still vital to consult a doctor. A doctor will usually diagnose you after a brief examination. If imaging, such as an X-ray, is required, it usually rules out other causes or abnormalities, such as a fracture.

What Is the Cause of Plantar Fasciitis?

When you walk, the plantar fascia supports the arch of your foot and absorbs the impact of your steps. This effect is natural for many people. This impact can be too much for some people, especially when combined with a lot of standing, high-intensity activity like running, or pre-existing foot issues like flat feet. Plantar Fasciitis occurs when the fascia is continually stretched or torn, and it can be caused by:

  • Standing for extended periods of time on the job or at home
  • Frequently wearing shoes that lack adequate cushioning (e.g., flip flops, flats, high heels, etc.)
  • Excessive exercise, particularly sprinting, jumping, and/or walking, causes overuse.
  • Aging
  • Obesity
  • Walking barefoot on hard surfaces on a regular basis

By avoiding several of these risk factors, people can avoid acquiring plantar fasciitis.

For example, wearing shoes with cushioned heels, maintaining your weight, or spending extra time to stretch before exercising can all help. However, if you have already been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, you should be aware that there are various solutions for pain relief.

Plantar Fasciitis: How Is It Treated?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that, given enough time, will usually cure on its own. Unfortunately, depending on the severity of the illness, the timeline varies widely amongst individuals, ranging from several weeks to many months.

When a condition is diagnosed, a doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain medicines to help with inflammation, ice, rest, and avoiding activities that aggravate the area. Depending on the severity of the issue, they may also recommend utilizing special equipment to help reduce symptoms, such as night splints, orthotics, or a walking boot.

They will almost certainly recommend patients seek physical therapy to relieve pain and treat the underlying reason. Physical therapy is one of the most effective treatments for addressing the underlying issues that lead to the disease in the first place.

Plantar Fasciitis Physical Therapy Exercises

Physical therapy for plantar fasciitis is divided into two categories: stretching exercises and strengthening exercises. It is critical to consider combining both types to enhance their efficiency and improve your foot mechanics.

Top 3 Plantar Fasciitis Stretching Exercises

The Gastrocalfcnemius Stretch, or Gastroc Stretch for short, is a more official name for the Calf Stretch. It is one of the most effective stretches for plantar fasciitis.


  1. Place your hands against a wall and stand. Plantar fasciitis should be treated by placing the affected foot back and the other foot forward in a mild lunge stance.
  2. Push against the wall while maintaining your back calf straight and your heel on the ground.
  3. Hold this position for 30 seconds before releasing. Perform the stretch three times.
  4. Stretch twice or three times every day.

 The Stretch of the Soleus

The Soleus Stretch is similar to the Calf Stretch, but with one key difference: a small bend in the rear knee. Because of the minor bend of the knee, the stretch is felt closer to the Achilles tendon. When used in conjunction with the Calf Stretch, the calf becomes more flexible, and overall mechanics improve.


  1. Place your hands against a wall and stand. The plantar fasciitis foot should be put back, with the other foot front and slightly bent.
  2. Push against the wall with your back leg slightly bent and your heel against the ground.
  3. Hold this position for 30 seconds before releasing. Perform the stretch three times.
  4. Stretch twice or three times every day.

Stretching the Plantar Fascia

The Plantar Fascia Stretch is one of the most common physical therapy exercises for plantar fasciitis.


  1. Position your foot on the edge of an elevated surface, such as a stairwell or a yoga block, to perform this stretch.
  2. Allow your foot to carry all of your weight and drop your heel to the floor. The stretch should be felt from the bottom of your foot to the middle of your leg.
  3. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds before repeating it three times.

Stretch twice or three times every day.

Top 3 Plantar Fasciitis Strengthening Exercises

Single-Leg Toe Curl

You will need a towel for this activity.


  1. Place the towel on the floor and stand with your affected foot.
  2. Begin curling your toes and gradually bunching the cloth.
  3. Repeat these exercises three to five times a day, twice.

 Picking up Marbles

This activity involves marbles (or something similar in size) and a cup.


  1. Distribute the marbles on the floor near the cup.
  2. Pick up the marbles with your toes and place them in the cup.

Abduction of the Hip from the Side

The Side Lying Hip Abduction is an excellent exercise for strengthening your gluteus medius. This muscle group helps to maintain your pelvis, preventing the knee from inward movement and the foot from overpronating. As a result, the gluteus medius can assist in absorbing impact and relieving stress on your legs and feet.


  1. Lie on your side, hips piled on top of each other. Keep your top leg straight and your bottom leg and arm bent for stability underneath.
  2. Lift your top leg to about eight inches above hip level and hold for five seconds before lowering the leg.
  3. Finish this exercise in two sets of 10 reps on each leg.

NOTE: When executing this exercise, keep your hips in alignment by not allowing them to rotate forward or backward.

As previously stated, rest is frequently suggested in conjunction with physical therapy to treat plantar fasciitis. This "relative rest" substitutes activities that may exacerbate the plantar fascia with those that are consistent with your treatment strategy. Physical rehabilitation and low-impact workouts are examples of such activities.

Low-Intensity Exercise

Stretching and strengthening may not be sufficient for you, particularly if you are an athlete used to the more rigorous or intensive movement and activity. Exercise with plantar fasciitis is achievable if you focus on low-impact activities such as swimming, cycling, yoga, Pilates, and weight training.

While taking a vacation from your regular workout regimen may be challenging, these options might help keep you active while your body heals. Furthermore, they provide numerous health benefits. Swimming and cycling are excellent ways to boost endurance; yoga and Pilates can help you increase flexibility; and weight training can help you maintain your strength.

Whatever method you use, remember to stretch your calves and feet before exercising. The stretches and exercises outlined above are excellent for getting the muscles free and ready to work. Furthermore, combining physical therapy and low-impact exercise can help not just your plantar fasciitis but also your general health.

Looking for Plantar Fasciitis Physical Therapy?

Plantar fasciitis can be treated with rest and stretching. In fact, physical treatment for plantar fasciitis has been shown to be useful in lowering pain and symptoms. Furthermore, these activities aren't just for after you've been diagnosed. They're also excellent preventative strategies for keeping your feet as healthy as possible.

Allow us to be a part of your wellness journey! Visit our website to learn more about Aim Sports Medicine’s plantar fasciitis physical therapy.

We are ready to support you during your healing journey.

Call or Text us today: (310) 937-2323

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