5 Stretches to Help Relieve Your Heel Pain
Flexibility allows you to bend, adjust, and go with the flow. This could be figuratively, like flexibility in planning that allows you to adjust a picnic time or location for bad weather. This could also be literal, like a flexibility in your muscles and connective tissues that allow you to run, jump, and touch your toes smoothly instead of stiffly. Whether it’s metaphorical or literal, the ability to stretch and change is something you can improve—and in some cases, can help alleviate issues like heel pain. Stretching for heel pain is a simple way to reduce pressure on the back of your foot. Several heel pain conditions are related to tightness and stiffness in your lower limbs, whether that’s a tightened Achilles or a problem with stiffness in your plantar fascia. The right stretches help loosen up those tight, stiff areas so they aren’t pulling on the back of your foot as much, alleviating your discomfort. Here are a few heel pain stretches you can try on your own:
- Straight wall stretch – Stand placing your hands against a wall, then set one foot several inches behind the other. Lock your back knee and keep that heel planted firmly on the ground. Lunge forward on the other foot, holding the position when you feel a stretch in the back foot.
- Bent wall stretch – Repeat the straight wall stretch, but this time bend both knees when you lunge forward.
- Towel stretch – Sitting down with your legs in front of you, loop a towel around your foot and grasp the ends with your hands. Flex your foot and gently pull back on the towel.
- Plantar fascia pull – Sit in a chair with one foot propped on your other knee. Flex that foot, then use your hands to pull your toes back toward your shin.
- Cold water bottle massage – Freeze a water bottle, then roll it underneath the sole of your foot to massage the plantar fascia band and your heel.
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