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Best Exercises For Plantar Fasciitis

Say goodbye to plantar fasciitis discomfort with a curated list of exercises tailored for heel and foot relief. Explore calf stretches, plantar fascia stretches, and foot-strengthening exercises to alleviate strain.

  • 24 Nov 2023
  • 3 min read

Plantar fasciitis commonly causes pain and discomfort in the heel and sole of the foot. While various treatment approaches are available, exercise can significantly contribute to managing and alleviating the symptoms associated with this condition. In this discussion, we will delve into some exercises that effectively address plantar fasciitis, offering individuals potential relief and enhancing overall foot health.

List of the best exercises for plantar fasciitis


Numerous exercises prove effective in treating plantar fasciitis. Let’s explore some exercises for plantar fasciitis below:


  • Calf stretches


  • Plantar fascia stretch


  • Foot strengthening exercises


  • Toe stretching


  • Low-impact aerobic exercises


1.      Calf stretches


Calf stretches rank as one of the most effective exercises for plantar fasciitis. These stretches help alleviate strain on the foot by extending the calf muscles, thereby reducing stress on the plantar fascia. To perform a basic calf stretch, stand with one foot forward and the other behind, keeping both your heels on the ground. Slowly lean forward until you can feel a stretch in the calf muscle. Repeat this stretch multiple times on both sides, holding it for approximately 30 seconds. To enhance the stretch’s effectiveness, you can use a towel or a resistance band wrapped around the ball of your foot, then pull your toes towards your torso. 

2.      Plantar fascia stretch


As the name suggests, this exercise specifically targets the plantar fascia. Sit on a chair and place one ankle on the opposite knee. Next, gently pull the toes towards the shin until you feel a stretch in the arch of the foot. Hold this stretch for about 30 seconds and repeat it several times on both feet. You can perform this exercise multiple times throughout the day, promoting flexibility in the plantar fascia.

3.      Foot strengthening exercises


One can alleviate plantar fasciitis symptoms by strengthening the foot muscles. Exercises like towel curls can prove beneficial. Place a towel on the floor and scrunch it up towards your body using your toes to perform this exercise. Repeat this exercise several times; you can gradually increase the resistance using a thicker towel or add small objects for your toes to grip. Additionally, you can include other exercises like marble pickups or toe curls with resistance bands in your foot-strengthening routine.

4.      Toe stretching 


With toe stretches, you can relieve tension in the muscles and ligaments of the foot, aiding in the management of plantar fasciitis symptoms. You can perform a simple toe stretch by sitting on a chair and crossing one ankle over the opposite knee. Gently grasp the toes and stretch them upwards until you feel a mild stretch. Hold this stretch for about 15-20 seconds and repeat it several times on each foot.

5.      Low-impact aerobic exercises


Engaging in low-impact aerobics, such as swimming or cycling, can enhance your overall fitness, all the while reducing the strain on your feet. These exercises improve cardiovascular health, without subjecting the plantar fascia to undue stress. Specifically, for those dealing with plantar fasciitis, swimming provides an excellent method to develop foot and leg muscles without overburdening them with excess weight.

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Plantar fasciitis can significantly impact your quality of life. Practising the effective exercises mentioned above present promising options to address plantar fasciitis symptoms. Nevertheless, consulting a healthcare professional or physical therapist before commencing any exercise programme is vital to ensure the correct technique and suitability for individual cases.

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