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Simple Self-Help Tips for Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia supports the arch of the foot and if strained, becomes weak, swollen and inflamed.

Plantar Fasciitis is the most frequent injury of the plantar fascia and refers to an inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes.

The plantar fascia supports the arch of the foot and if strained, becomes weak, swollen and inflamed. Repeated strain can bring about small tears in the ligament causing pain and swelling.

Repeated injuries to the plantar fascia seem to be the main cause of plantar fasciitis which can develop in one or both feet.


We treat Plantar fasciitis in the clinic, working through the foot and affected lower leg and often tape the foot for support.

Treatment for this condition is most effective, if some simple self-care is followed up at home.

1. Gastrocnemius (calf muscle) Stretch

• Stand on the edge of a ledge (somewhere sufficiently stable to support your bodyweight)

• You will need to have enough of your foot on the edge of the ledge so that it does not slip off. Make sure you are stable, this will allow you to hold your stretch for a longer period (better quality of stretch)

• Lower both heels over the edge of the ledge

• Try lowering one leg at a time. This increases the weight on the calf muscle and increases the intensity of the stretch

• You should feel the stretch move lower and to the inside of the shin

• Hold stretch for between 30-50 seconds, 3 times each side every two to three hours

2. Soleus Stretch

• To stretch the soleus muscle the back leg should be bent

• Place the leg to be stretched behind and lean against a wall keeping the heel down

• A stretch should be felt lower down nearer the ankle at the back of the leg

• If this stretch is not felt then try to place the forefoot of the front leg against the wall with the heel on the floor and push the front knee towards the wall

• Hold for 30-50 seconds repeat 3 times one each leg. 3 times each side, twice daily

3. Stretching the deep foot flexors

• In sitting position, gently hold foot with one hand

• With the opposite hand pull all five toes up towards the body

• Hold for 30-50 seconds, twice each side, twice daily

4. Towel lifts

• Place a hand towel on the floor. The towel should be completely flat

• Stand with your foot over the towel and use your toes and the bottom of your foot to scrunch up the towel

• Next use your toes and feet to flatten the towel

• Repeat 10 times, 3 times daily

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