Heel pain, whether from plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, or some other source, can be quite distressing, especially if the condition is chronic. When your feet hurt, you can’t go where you want to go or do what you want to do!
Fortunately, many heel pain episodes can be managed through conservative means, with stretching a core component on many treatment strategies. Tight muscles and other soft tissue structures can pull and tear, contributing to the pain, but some simple stretches can help ease the tension and provide relief.
The first area you want to target with your stretching is the calves. There are lots of great stretches out there, but one of the simplest and best is simply to stand facing a wall (about an arm’s length away—you can reach out and touch it for support if you need it), place your right foot behind the left and, while keeping the right knee straight and right heel on the ground, bend your left leg forward. You don’t want to hold the stretch too long (20-30 seconds is plenty). Reverse legs and repeat.
You’ll also want to stretch the plantar fascia as well. Again, you have lots of options, most of which can be performed while seated. One good one is to cross the right leg over the left, then pull the toes back with your right hand. (Reverse the directions, obviously, for the left foot.) You can also try putting your legs out in front of you, wrapping a towel around your toes, and pulling on them gently.
We hope that this advice will help you overcome a bad case of heel pain! Unfortunately, not every episode can be relieved so easily. If chronic pain continues to bother you, make an appointment to see Dr. Harvey Danciger in Palm Desert. He can offer more advanced treatment therapies, including laser therapy, as well as determine whether you could benefit from orthotics or other preventative tools and techniques. You can reach our office today by dialing 760-568-0108.