Heel Pain Exercises
Exercises to stretch your legs and heels at home
Heel pain exercises (Video)
Heel pain exercises can help you strengthen the muscles and ligaments that support your heel and reduce any discomfort or pain you may be experiencing. In this video, Satvinder shows you simple exercises for the plantar fascia that is often responsible for heel pain. You can do these exercises in the comfort of your own home, and monitor your progress in a simple diary. Should you feel that you have ongoing heel pain, then we recommend that you see your podiatrist at Burswood Health for a detailed assessment of your feet.
Why would you need heel pain exercises?
The plantar fascia is a fibrous connective tissue band on the bottom of your foot that runs between the ball of the foot and the heel. The plantar fascia acts like a bowstring and creates the arch of the foot. It also behaves like a spring, supporting the weight of our body and absorbing shock as we walk through our world.
But overuse, fatigue, excess weight, poor footwear and natural ageing can cause the elastic fibers to overstretch and eventually tear. The arch depresses and in advanced cases can collapse. The result is heel or arch pain which is worse upon arising in the morning or after sitting down for a while.
Plantar fasciitis is the name given to describe the painful degenerative process of the plantar fascia. Exercises, along with proper footwear and orthotics, are essential in the effective management of heel pain due to plantar fasciitis.
Exercises can help you stretch and strengthen the plantar fascia and calf muscles. And the heel pain exercises in this video are a good starting point.
In the first exercise, you will be pointing the toes away from yourself, stretching the tibialis anterior muscle. Check out the video to see exactly how to do it. This also strengthens your thigh muscles. We recommend you hold the position for 10 seconds, and repeat the stretch 10 times.
It’s a good idea to keep a ‘pain diary’. You could record your heel pain level as a number from 0 to 10 so you can keep track of your progress. After a few days the pain should start going down.
Another heel pain exercise you can do at home:
In the video, we demonstrate a second exercise you can do at home. It starts sitting on your feet (your bottom resting on your feet) and if you want you can stick a pillow underneath. In this exercise you will be loosening and stretching the thigh and leg muscles. Since the body is a kinetic chain, this will impact the muscles and tendons in your feet and your heels.
Again, check out the video to see the full detail, hold the position for about 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
What if you still feel symptoms?
If after doing these heel pain exercises for a few days you still suffer from pain, come and see your podiatrist at Burswood Health. We will assess your gait (walking pattern) and the health of your feet.
We may refer for X-Rays or diagnostic ultrasound to assess the bones and soft tissues of your feet. We will provide you with an accurate diagnosis of your problem and explain the various treatment options that are available.
Burswood Health, across the East-Perth Causeway in Burswood, is a multidisciplinary clinic comprised of chiropractors, occupational therapists and podiatrists. Our podiatry team can help you with all foot and lower limb conditions: skin or nail problems, foot or ankle injuries, diabetic foot complications, or challenges with your gait or walking pattern. Contact us today to book your appointment.