Plantar Fasciitis Stretches: Fix Your Heel Pain

Plantar Fasciitis Stretches: Fix Your Heel Pain


– In this video I’m gonna show
you three simple stretches to help you overcome
the pain and frustration of plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is an injury that quite a number of you
guys have messaged me about asking for more information. The typical heel pain that comes with this often stubborn injury is
often quite debilitating, and can hang around for a long
time if not managed properly. Thankfully, there are a
number of simple techniques you can use to treat your
plantar fasciitis at home, or more specifically, deal with some of the
common contributing factors, such as tightness in those calf muscles. Let’s start with understanding the anatomy around the bottom of the
foot and the ankle region. The plantar fascia runs from
the heel bone, the calcaneus, along the bottom of the foot, and across the metatarsal
heads, the balls of the foot. As we walk and run the action
of us loading these toes adds tension to the plantar fascia, which helps create a
more rigid and solid base to push off through. That’s a good thing, it’s how the foot’s supposed to function. Going back to the heel
bone, the calcaneus, another structure which
attaches to this bone is the Achilles tendon, which transfers force
from the calf muscles. If the calf muscles are chronically tight, the Achilles is going to be
subtly pulling the calcaneus in a direction which
places constant strain on the plantar fascia,
which it won’t like. So to effectively manage your
plantar fasciitis symptoms, it’s important that we
deal with any tightness in the calf complex and ensure that the big toe in particular is able to dorsiflex properly. Here are some stretches for you to try. Standing and facing a wall
with one foot forward, one foot back, so that the
rear foot is so far back it feels like you’re
about to lift the heel, place your hands on the wall and push your heel down into the ground. You should feel a stretch
in those calf muscles. Be sure to watch the
position of your rear foot, keeping it straight
rather than allowing it to turn outwards as you stretch, and hold this stretch
for three to five sets of 20 to 40 seconds on each leg. Try this twice daily. To stretch the soleus muscle,
lower in the calf region, you need to repeat the same set up, keeping both knees bent and both feet flat on the floor this time. Drive the rear knee forward as you drop your weight down into that back foot. You should feel this stretch
lower in your calf region than with the previous exercise. Hold this stretch for three to five sets of 20 to 40 seconds, again, twice daily. It’s important that we also work on the mobility of the
big toe in particular, as walking and running
gaits both require you to be able to roll through the big toe. A lack of range of motion here can result in the plantar fascia
becoming dysfunctional if you’re not being
loaded properly over time. There are a couple of
reasons why the big toe can lack range of motion. It could be a consistent
structural problem, or a functional issue, which would be more
present in weight-bearing. So if you do struggle with big toe motion and are suffering with plantar fasciitis, I’d suggest a visit to the podiatrist to further assess the issue. A great stretch for motor big toe motion uses the wall once again. Place your big toe up against the wall, and try to keep the rest of
your foot, as much as you can, flat on the floor. From there, drive your
knee towards the wall and hold this stretch
for three to five sets of 20 to 40 seconds. You should feel this through
the underside of the foot and into your lower calf region. It should be a strong
stretch, but not painful. Feel free to try this twice daily. An area less commonly
discussed when it comes to plantar fasciitis stretching
is the front of the shin. The tibialis anterior muscle
that sits at the front outside of the shin crosses the ankle and is an important antagonist
muscle to the calf complex, meaning that it performs
the opposite function, dorsiflexion, rather than plantar flexion. It’s a pattern noticed
in runners who suffer with plantar fasciitis, that
they often tell us they’ve been tight through tibialis anterior and weak through soleus. This anterior tightness
is well worth working on. So to stretch tibialis
anterior, begin kneeling up and place the tops of your
feet flat on the floor. Gradually sit back onto your knees, and feel tight through tibialis anterior you’ll feel a stretch through the front of your shins as you sit back. Hold this again for three to five sets of 20 to 40 seconds twice daily. As with almost every injury, stretching isn’t the be all and end all, strengthening is really important, too. Exercises to strengthen your
calf muscles in particular while this balance rechecks the sides for the soleus muscle, are an important part
of the rehab process. Self-massage techniques are
usually really effective, too. In fact, I’ll leave a link below to our calf foam rolling tutorial. Don’t forget to hit the like button if you found this video helpful, and subscribe so that you
don’t miss future updates. I have a question for you, I want to know your experience in dealing with plantar fasciitis. Jump into the comments below and let me know what you’ve tried. What’s worked for you, and what hasn’t? I’ll be back soon with
another one of these videos, so I’ll speak to you then. Bye now.

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