If you’re dealing with persistent heel pain, you know how debilitating it can be. If you’ve dealt with heel pain before, you undoubtedly want to avoid a recurrence. Every step can be agony, making daily life much more difficult.
An effective strategy to relieve or avoid heel pain is stretching. Stretching can help you improve strength and flexibility in the ligaments, tendons, and muscles in your feet to reduce your pain.
Whether your heel pain is a result of plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, Achilles tendonitis, or another condition, stretching the muscles in your lower legs and feet can relax tightness, which helps relieve your pain as well.
Here are a few stretches that can help you relieve or avoid heel pain, courtesy of the expert team at Austin Foot & Ankle Institute in Austin and Cedar Park, Texas.
This stretch helps loosen your Achilles tendon and calf muscles to relieve heel pain. Stand about arm’s length from a wall and place your hands flat against the wall.
Extend one leg behind you, keeping the foot on the floor. Bend your front leg as you lean toward the wall. You should feel the stretch in the calf muscles of your back leg.
Hold this pose for 20 seconds, then switch legs. Do this set three times.
Sit in a chair with one foot on the floor and the other leg crossed, leaving the ankle of the crossed leg on the thigh of the bottom leg. Hold your toes with one hand and gently pull them backward — you should feel the stretch in the bottom of your foot.
Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Do this a total of three times and then switch feet.
Do this stretch using the bottom step of a staircase. Hold the railing for support.
Stand at the edge of the step on the balls of your feet, with your heels hanging over the edge. Lower your heels until they’re just below the edge of the stair, then raise up onto the balls of your feet again. Keep your movements slow and controlled throughout.
Do two sets of 10 repetitions each, taking a minute to rest between sets.
Perform these stretches consistently for several days, and you should start seeing some relief from your heel pain.
If you need additional guidance or more advanced treatment for heel pain, contact the orthopedic specialists at Austin Foot & Ankle. Call one of our three convenient locations or book an appointment with our online scheduler.