4 Exercises to Relieve Heel Pain

Heel pain can be the result of a direct injury to the heel or from underlying conditions, like plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, or Achilles tendinitis. Regardless of the underlying cause, the heel pain you experience can significantly interfere with your quality of life and your mobility.

At New Tampa Interventional Pain & Sports Medicine, experienced pain management specialist, Jose De La Torre, MD, understands the impact persistent heel pain can have on you. Dr. De La Torre offers both diagnostic and treatment services on-site to quickly treat your pain and provide you with long-lasting relief.

In addition to the medical management of your condition through the use of custom orthotics and anti-inflammatory medications or injections, there are things you can do for yourself to alleviate and prevent heel pain.

One of the most effective ways to keep yourself pain-free is to stay physically active and do daily exercise that focus on strengthening and stretching the ligaments and muscles connecting to your heel.

Here are four exercises you can do starting today to treat heel pain:

1.Calf stretches

Calf stretches focus on stretching your gastrocnemius muscle, the back part of your lower leg that connects your knee and your heel.

To stretch this muscle, stand an arm’s length from a wall and position your right foot behind your left foot. Gently bend your left leg toward the wall while keeping your heel on the ground and your knee straight.

Maintain the stretch for up to 30 seconds before relaxing, and then repeat the same movements three times. Switch the position of your legs, and repeat the process on the other side.

2. Roller stretches

Use a foam roller or a frozen bottle of water to stretch your plantar fascia, which is the thick band of ligaments that connects your heel to the front of your foot.

Sit in a chair, and place your foot on the roller. Roll back and forth for at least a minute and then switch to your other foot.

3. Toe stretches

Another exercise that targets the plantar fascia involves a gentle pull of your big toe. Sit comfortably in a chair, and take hold of your big toe.

Pull your toe gently toward you, and hold it for up to 30 seconds. Repeat the action three times before switching to the other foot.

4. Towel stretches

You can also stretch your plantar fascia and relieve any heel pain by using a bath towel. From a seated position, place a folded towel under the arch of your foot. Gently pull your feet toward you, and hold the position for up to 30 seconds before switching to the other foot and repeating.

You can also put the towel under the arches of your feet and pull both feet toward you at the same time.

If your heel pain is the result of jogging or running, it’s important to avoid this type of strenuous activity while you heal. Daily walks are helpful for stretching your calf muscles and plantar fascia, so you can temporarily swap running for walking.

Also, be sure that you continue to wear recommended orthotics and comfortable, supportive shoes for all activity.

If you need a medical evaluation for persistent heel pain, rely on the team at New Tampa Interventional Pain & Sports Medicine. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling the office today.

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