Heel pain is one of the most common reasons people visit Dr. Heidi M. Christie and Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists. It can happen to anyone who’s on their feet a lot or who otherwise stress their feet through running, wearing unsupportive shoes, or even carrying around too much weight.
So what’s at the root of your heel pain? There are several possibilities, including:
- Heel spurs– small outgrowths of bone that form under the heel
- Achilles tendinitis– inflammation of the tendon that runs from your calf into your heel bone
- Arthritis, a bone bruise, and Haglund’s deformity are some other causes.
But plantar fasciitis is the reason most people with heel pain hobble into our podiatry office in Montgomery, Alabama.
Exercises for heel pain
The pain of plantar fasciitis can be severe, especially the first few steps you take when getting up in the morning. That’s because the thick ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot – the plantar fascia – has tightened up overnight. One of the tricks to easing the pain of plantar fasciitis is to keep the plantar fascia stretched out through gentle exercises like these:
- Calf stretch: With hands flat against a wall, position your injured foot back and your uninjured foot forward. Slowly turn your injured foot inward until you feel the stretch in your calf.
- Stair stretch: Perch the ball of your foot on a stair and drop your heel down until you feel the stretch in your arch. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
- Frozen bottle roll: freeze a bottle of water (a can of soda works, too) and then roll the bottom of your foot back and forth on it, from your heel to the middle of your foot.
- Towel pickup: Keeping your heel planted on the ground, pick up a towel with your toes. Release; repeat.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, Dr. Christie and Dr. Day-Houts can walk you through these exercises that you can perform at home to help quicken the healing process. Call our office at (334) 396-3668 for an appointment and more ways to boot plantar fasciitis pain out of your life.