3 exercises to help relieve plantar fasciitis

Relieving plantar fasciitis often requires discipline. Indeed, this painful inflammation, caused by a stretching or a rupture of the plantar fascia, can be cured by podiatry, but also by exercises. These exercises strengthen the plantar fascia, the membrane that supports the arch of your foot.

By progressively performing exercises, you can regain your mobility and range of motion. So if you feel a sharp pain in your heel when you get up in the morning or after sitting for a long time, these exercises are important to help you regain mobility and range of motion.

Plantar fasciitis can also be treated by consulting a podiatrist as soon as possible. Your podiatrist will provide you with the best care and recommend appropriate pain management routines.  

PiedRéseau’s podiatrists suggest 3 exercises to relieve plantar fasciitis. These training sessions will help you re-educate your foot and regain ease of movement.

1. Stretching exercises to relieve plantar fasciitis 

Plantar fasciitis is a pathology that often requires challenging the arch of your foot (safely, of course!). 

Here is a good example of a stretching exercise to achieve this, to be repeated roughly 3 times a day:

  • Stand upright. 
  • Bend your knee up slowly.
  • Hold the bend for about 30 seconds, then gradually lower your foot to the ground. 
  • Repeat the exercise 3 times. 

The following is another potentially beneficial stretching exercise. Again, this should be done about 3 times a day:

  • Sit on the floor and stretch out your legs. 
  • Stretch your foot by bringing it back towards you and applying pressure on it. You can use your hands, a towel or a belt to do this. 
  • Hold the position for about 30 seconds, then release the pressure. 
  • Repeat this routine 3 times. 

You can also stretch your feet by placing your hands on a wall, extending your arms and stretching your leg. 

After performing these exercises, PiedRéseau recommends that you rest your foot for about 15 minutes and apply ice to your heel.

2. Relaxation exercises for the plantar fascia 

When you perform exercises to relieve plantar fasciitis, it is necessary to relax the membrane of your foot. 

The following targeted exercise is ideal to achieve this:

  • Place a tennis ball, can or cold bottle on the floor. 
  • Put your foot on this object and roll it from back to front and then from front to back, applying light pressure. 
  • Repeat the movement for a few minutes and do it again about 3 times a day, except in the event you feel pain. 
  • If the inflammation in your foot is too painful, consider doing this exercise with a cold object. 
  • You should never worsen your pain during the exercise.

Ask your podiatrist for advice about the method best suited for you.  

3. Calf and ankle exercises

When performing plantar fasciitis exercises, you should also think about your calves and ankles. This way, you will be able to regain full mobility in all your movements. 

Below is an effective calf strengthening routine: 

● Stand up and place both feet in a parallel position. 

● Place the foot that hurts you towards the back.

● Slowly bend your knee, keeping your heels on the ground. 

● Hold this position for about a minute. 

● Rest your legs for one minute and then repeat the sequence. 

If this exercise causes you pain, stop doing it immediately and speak with your podiatrist. 

For the ankle, this simple exercise will help you: 

  • Sit on the floor and stretch your legs. 
  • Rotate the painful ankle outwards. 
  • Repeat the same movement inward. 
  • Then bend that same ankle and slowly return to your original position. 
  • Repeat the movement approximately ten times.

This routine can be done several times a day, but again, remember to rest your feet afterwards.  

PiedRéseau, your specialized podiatric clinics dedicated to your welfare 

More than forty PiedRéseau clinics across Quebec can recommend the best exercises to relieve your plantar fasciitis. 

The exercises listed above are suitable for many people with this condition. However, a number of more specific cases require different routines. 

Consult our podiatrists to benefit from the best exercises to help relieve plantar fasciitis.