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Plantar Stretch

How to manage heel and foot pain?

During Covid-19 pandemic, one of the ways that a lot of us kept our physical and mental health in check was by walking/running outdoors. Even though, some restrictions have been lifted/eased, some of us have continued to enjoy being active outdoors during these hot summer days. Some of you might have experienced pain in your feet specifically in the inner side of the heel. If this sounds familiar to you, you might be suffering from a very common condition known as “plantar fasciitis”.

Below, are the few common symptoms of plantar fasciitis:

  • Heel pain with first few steps in the morning or after a period of inactivity (such as first few steps after getting up from a prolonged seated position)
  • Heel pain with prolonged period of standing, walking, running and jumping
  • Decreased ankle range of motion

If you experience any of the above mentioned symptoms, below are few potential ways to manage your symptoms:

  • Rest or modification of the aggravating activities when possible
  • Wear supportive shoes during prolonged periods of being on your feet
  • Use ice on the heel of your foot to decrease pain
  • Stretching your calf and foot muscles (refer to the pictures below)

If you continue to experience pain in your heel that does not improve with time and abovementioned management strategies, please book an appointment with a registered physiotherapist at Therapy One for detailed assessment and treatment of your condition.
A physiotherapist could facilitate your recovery by performing a thorough assessment and if you are diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, your therapist could perform any or all of the below treatments:

  • Education (about your diagnosis, prognosis, risk factors, current evidence-based research on best treatment approaches)
  • Manual Therapy (Manual stretching, and joint and soft tissue mobilization)
  • Therapeutic exercises (stretching and strengthening exercises)
  • Taping (use of tape to decease pain)
  • Physical modalities (ex: Use of ultrasound)
  • Recommendation for orthotics or night splints


1Standing Calf Stretch

  • Stand upright in front of a wall and place your hands on the wall.
  • Extend the involved leg backwards while bending the other leg forward, until you feel a stretch in your back calf.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

2Seated calf stretch

  • Sit with your involved leg extended and use a strap to loop around the ball of your foot.
  • Pull the strap up so your foot bends toward you, until you feel a stretch in your calf. Make sure you keep your knee straight.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

3Plantar fascia stretch

  • Sit with one leg crossed over your other knee.
  • Use your hand to grasp your foot and big toe upward until you feel a gentle stretch in the bottom of your foot.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

**Please note these exercises could initiate or aggravate your existing symptoms. Always consult a health practitioner if you are not sure if these exercises are right for you**
Yasama Razavi RPT

Did you know most insurance companies and progressive extended health coverage cover up to 100% of any type of physiotherapy, Chiropractic and massage therapy treatments from a Registered Therapist? Using your benefits wisely throughout the year can keep you healthy forever. Please refer your insurance policy now!