Leg or foot pain caused by exercising is, well…a pain. Unfortunately, it’s a common side effect of
getting fit or being active. But it doesn’t have to put a stop to your adventures.
One of the most prevalent exercise-related afflictions is fasciitis pain, with plantar fasciitis being the
Plantar fasciitis manifests as pain in the heel and/or sole of the foot, and it’s often
worse straight after getting up in the morning, or after a period of sitting or lying down.
The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue running from the heel bone to the toes, which can
get inflamed when placed under too much stress. While repetitive actions such as running or walking
can strain your plantar fascia over time, some people are predisposed to fasciitis pain. People with
flat feet or high arches are more likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis, as well as those with very tight
calf muscles. Being overweight can also contribute to fasciitis pain.
There are many elements that come into play when treating plantar fasciitis. If you experience
fasciitis pain the first step is to rest and ice the affected area. Although some people may require
physical therapy or other medical interventions, simple stretches can help to relieve pain and
prevent further injury.
If you suffer from fasciitis pain, these seven stretches may ease your discomfort.
1. Calf Stretch
Plantar fasciitis causes foot pain, but tightness or weakness in your lower back, glutes, thighs, and
calves can be a contributing factor. Stretching your calves relieves tension and tightness and can
alleviate fasciitis pain too.
To perform this stretch:
● Stand an arm’s length away from a wall and place your hands on the wall.
● With one foot remaining in place, step backward with the other foot and straighten the leg
so that your foot is flat on the floor.
● The leg remaining closer to the wall should bend at the knee.
● Keeping your hands on the wall, sink into the stretch by bending your front leg at the knee.
● Keep your other heel on the ground with the knee straight.
● Continue the stretch for 30 seconds, then swap legs and repeat.
You can repeat the entire exercise three times. Don’t stretch to the point of pain, but you should feel
a pull in your calf.
2. Toe and Plantar Fascia Stretch
Performing this stretch on both sides is beneficial in treating and preventing fasciitis pain.
● Sit on a chair and extend your leg so that your heel rests on the floor.
● Lean forwards and with your hand, pull the big toe of the extended foot up and backward.
Your heel should remain on the floor.
● Continue pulling for 20 to 30 seconds before releasing your toe. Repeat this stretch up to four times in a row. Do not pull to the point of pain, but stretch enough to feel a little discomfort.
3. Seated Plantar Fascia Massage
This exercise isn’t strictly a stretch, but it is a great way to keep your plantar fascia supple and pain-free. As with other stretches, this shouldn’t be painful.
● Sit on a chair with one foot resting on a foam roller, frozen water bottle, or small ball.
● Roll your foot backward and forwards over the object, moving from just below the ball of
your foot to just before your heel bone.
● Apply enough pressure to feel a gentle stretch.
Repeat the rolling motion ten times before switching feet. Repeat the entire exercise once.
4. Seated Foot Stretch
This stretch requires a towel or similar material that you can use as a strap.
● Sit on a chair and hook the towel/strap under the arch of your foot.
● Lift your leg so that your foot raises off the ground; then pull gently on the towel or strap to
bring the top of your foot towards you.
Hold this stretch for 20 seconds and repeat it on both feet up to three times.
5. Glute and Lower Back Stretch
● Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
● Lift your right leg and, keeping both knees bent, place the outside of your right ankle against
your left leg’s knee/lower quadriceps.
Check your position: your left leg should stay bent with the foot on the floor, while your right leg is
bent with the outer side of the ankle and foot resting on your left knee/lower quadriceps.
● Put your hands behind your left thigh and pull towards your chest, so that your left foot
leaves the ground and your hips bend at a roughly 90-degree angle.
● Keeping your right leg in place, continue to pull for at least 30 seconds, making sure that
your right ankle remains on your left knee/quadriceps.
You can repeat the stretch on the other side and repeat the entire exercise up to three times.
6. Hamstring Stretch
If you’ve suffered an acute injury to your plantar fascia, this stretch is best avoided.
● Sitting on the floor, stretch your legs out with knees straight.
● Bending your left leg, place your left foot against your right inner thigh while keeping both
legs against the floor.
● Lean forwards towards your right foot as far as you can, drawing your forehead down
towards your knee/shin and, if possible, grabbing your right foot.
● Hold this position for at least 30 seconds before releasing and repeating on the opposite
side. Repeat the entire exercise three times.
7. Heel Raise On A Step
This stretch/exercise both stretches and strengthens your foot and leg.
● Stand on a step with your heels hanging off the edge and your weight on the balls of your
● Sink into the position and allow your heels to drop until you feel a gentle stretch in your feet
● Then, slowly raise yourself on the balls of your feet so that your heels are above the step.
This helps to strengthen your calf and surrounding muscles.
You can repeat this sequence up to ten times and the entire exercise can be repeated twice.
Prevention and Cure
These are not the only stretches or exercises that help to address fasciitis pain, but they can be very
effective when performed correctly. In addition to stretching, there are other ways to reduce the risks of fasciitis pain, including wearing supportive footwear and always warming up before exercising.
However, if the pain becomes an ongoing issue and none of the preventative measures make a difference, it’s best to seek medical help. Fasciitis pain is a treatable condition, so don’t let it slow you down!