Few things can stop you from enjoying a pleasant summer day in Cincinnati quite like heel pain. If it hurts to walk too much or too far, unfortunately, most people just stop walking. Don’t go down that path! Heel pain is very treatable, and in fact many cases may be effectively managed through home care, including some gentle stretches.
Your first option: calf stretches. These can be beneficial for heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, or other conditions. There are lots of good calf stretches out there to try; one of the easiest and best is simply to step out with one leg, gently bending it forward, while holding the back foot flat on the ground and keeping the back knee straight. Hold for 15-20 seconds, then reverse. You can also try standing on a step, feet together and arch hanging over the edge, and slowly raising and lowering yourself on your toes.
The next option: plantar fascia stretches. Most of these can be performed from a seated position. Try raising and extending one leg, crossing it over the other, and reaching out with your hands to pull the big toe gently toward you. Again, hold 15-20 seconds and reverse. You can also try a variation on this stretch using a folded towel to pull the tops of your feet toward you, or even roll a golf ball or water bottle under your arch as you sit.
These and other simple stretches can help relieve tension, keep you limber, and even prevent heel pain in the future. However, you should always check with a professional before beginning a comprehensive stretching or exercise program, and also to see whether you may require additional treatment modalities such as orthotics. Here, Family Foot & Ankle Center can be your guide, and our goal is to get you up, active, and enjoying the nice summer weather without being slowed by stubborn heel pain. To make an appointment at one of our 6 convenient locations, please call 888-689-3317.