5 exercises for heel pain
5 exercises for heel pain
Are you suffering from heel pain? Or have you suffered from heel pain before and want to avoid it coming back?
You are in the right place. Here are 5 great exercises that can help!
Below you will find 5 exercises that can help deal with and prevent heel pain.
It’s important to remember that heel pain can be caused by many things, so you should always get a proper diagnosis before trying exercises from a Podiatrist or another health professional. Read this heel pain page for more information.
It is also important to stop performing any exercises if they make your symptoms worse or cause other pains or problems.
1. Non weight bearing stretch
While sitting in a chair or lying in bed, flex your toes up and point your foot down and hold for 5 seconds, then point your foot up and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat this 5-10 times.
This exercise is great to do just before you get out of bed or stand up from a long period of sitting down. This is usually when people get their sharp heel pain so this will help to warm up your foot before you put your body weight through it.
2. Standing calf stretch - straight knee and bent knee
This helps to work the calf muscle at the back of your leg. This muscle inserts into the heel bone, near where the plantar fascia also attaches. Therefore, sretching the calf helps to take the strain off the plantar fascia.
Standing up with both feet facing forwards, put one leg infront of the other and lean into a wall. Keep your back knee straight and you should feel a pull in the back of your leg.
Then you can stretch another calf muscle. It’s called soleus and you stretch it the same way as the stretch above but you bend the back knee so you look like you are about to sit down. You should feel a pull lower down on the back of the leg near the ankle.
You should do this with both legs even if only one heel is hurting, holding at about 50% effort for 1 minute.
3. Hamstring stretch
This is a super quick and easy exercise. All you need to do is put your leg up on a step or chair about the same height as a toilet, keep your knee straight and toes pointed up. Then lean forwards until you feel a slight pull in the back of your thigh and/or behind the knee. Then just hold for a minute at about 50% effort.
4. Self massage
Using a tennis ball or a spiky massage ball gently massage your feet by putting the ball on the floor and rolling your foot on it, backwards and forwards. You can push down a bit harder on the parts that need a massage. You could also freeze a small plastic water bottle and roll this in the same way (with a thin sock on to protect your skin from the ice). The cold can be very soothing.
5. Loading exercise
Roll up a towel so it is about 2-3 cm thick and place on the floor. Stand with your toes on the towel so that they are being stretched up relative to the foot. Slowly raise on to tip toes, hold for 3-5 seconds, then slowly lower down. One complete repetition should take 10 seconds, repeat 5-10 times. You can build up the amount of these that you do and you can perform them single leg if you are in a safe environment with something to use for balance.