Want To Learn How To Stretch For Plantar Fasciitis?
Watch the video below to learn 5 Uncommon Foot Stretches For Plantar Fasciitis that even most physical therapists don't know...
Most People Don't Understand How To Stretch For Plantar Fasciitis Correctly
Even more common though, the foot is often overlooked! To relieve foot pain such as plantar fasciitis, it makes sense that you would actually want to stretch the foot 🤦♂️
...even though calf stretches and heel raises are still great exercises for plantar fasciitis.
5 Uncommon Foot Stretches For Plantar Fasciitis
As mentioned previously, the most common exercises for plantar fasciitis are actually calf or ankle stretches, especially if you get an exercise handout from your primary care doctor or an orthopedic surgeon.
Sometimes those handouts will contain one or two foot stretches as well.
The most common foot stretches for plantar fasciitis include:
- Rolling your foot on a golf ball, tennis ball, or frozen water bottle.
- Picking up marbles with your toes
- Scrunching a towel using your toes
- Pulling the toes backward to stretch the arch
This first exercise is OK.
Rolling your foot on a tennis ball or frozen water bottle does help relieve some of the trigger points (tender points) in the foot muscles. However, they're not really pinpoint enough to get down to the small joints in the midfoot that are one of the major causes of plantar fasciitis.
The ice feels good because it temporarily numbs your foot, but often the term plantar fasciitis is poorly used as -itis means inflammation and in most cases of "plantar fasciitis" there's actually no inflammation found on MRIs... so there's really no need to ice it other than just short-term relief.
The golf ball DOES get to the small joints in your foot, but if you've ever rolled your foot on a golf ball, IT HURTS... even if you don't have plantar fasciitis. Try Foot Stretch #2 instead.
The marbles pick-ups and towel scrunches?... Don't bother
Without getting into too much anatomical detail, these work on your toes muscles, but NOT the ones that support your arch. Try Foot Stretch #5 below instead
Pulling the toes back to stretch the plantar fascia?
This one is pretty good. It's actually similar to Foot Stretch #4 below. However, it's important that you make sure to pull the WHOLE forefoot back, not just the toes in order to get the most effective stretch of the plantar fascia. The video above provides a good explanation of why this is important at 3:32.
How To Do The 5 Foot Stretches For Plantar Fasciitis
*Sit with your heel crossed over your opposite knee for each of these 5 stretches.
Foot Stretch #1 - To help absorb shock better
- Stabilize ankle with one hand
- Take the palm of your other hand and put it on the inside of your heel
- Push down towards the floor (there should be a tiny movement)
Foot Stretch #2 - To help re-dome your up & down arch
- Put pressure on the middle of your arch, finding a tender spot
- Fold arch over and pull your toes down
Foot Stretch #3- To help re-dome your side-to-side arch
- Put your thumbs in the middle of your arch
- Wrap your other fingers around the top of your foot
- Fold your arch side-to-side (like hot dog bun)
Foot Stretch #4- Helps stretch the muscles on the bottom of the foot and plantar fascia itself
- Pull your toes and the arch of your foot back towards the top part of your foot
Foot Stretch #5- This exercise helps strengthen the muscles that support your arch
- Curl your toes inward
- Scoop foot inward and upward
- Relax and repeat
See the video above for more detail on these stretches.
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Need a stretching device for plantar fasciitis?
I find that most people actually don't need a stretching device for plantar fasciitis.
The exercises above, along with calf stretches are usually good enough if done consistently, along with wearing proper shoes and/or orthotics, and correcting standing posture, walking pattern, and other repetitive activities that you do while on your feet.
However, for some people buying a stretching device motivates them to actually do their stretches.
Life gets busy, and its easy to forget about stretching.
But if you see the stretching device just sitting there in your living room, it might just remind you to get up off the couch and do your stretches while watching TV instead of just sitting there.
If you need a stretching device for plantar fasciitis, I recommend the ProStretch Double:
There is a single version, but I highly recommend the DOUBLE for a few reasons:
- It's too easy to pronate your foot when stretching one side at a time, meaning you're not going to get the proper stretch. (Main reason)
- Most people are tight in both calves and so you can stretch both calves at the same time.
- If you MUST do one leg at a time (not recommended) you can still do that on this model.
*As an amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you.
Need MORE Than Foot Stretches For Plantar Fasciitis?
Explore on your own our FREE copy of our Plantar Fasciitis Guide...