Did you know? According to at least one survey, about 72% of people report that foot problems like plantar fasciitis are affecting their quality of life—their ability to stand, walk, travel, play with their kids and grandkids, etc.—but only 25% of people are taking proper care of their feet. We want to change that!
The classic symptom of plantar fasciitis, the most common cause of heel pain, is a sharp pain that is strongest immediately after resting—say your first steps in the morning. If this describes you, there is some good news: most cases of this condition can be treated conservatively, and practicing the following stretches regularly can help prevent future discomfort:
- Stand facing a wall. While keeping your back and back leg straight and your back heel flat on the ground, step forward with your hips and other leg until you feel a stretch in your calf. You can place your hands on the wall for support if necessary.
- Sit comfortably at a chair and place a towel underfoot. Grasp the towel with your toes and pull it toward you, then push it away. This helps strengthen arch muscles.
- From a seated position, grasp the toes of one foot with the palm of your hand and gently pull them toward you, feeling the stretch in your arch. You may wish to grab your heel with the other hand for support and stability.