Heel pain is something so common in Great Neck Podiatry offices that virtually everyone will experience it at some point in their life for one reason or another. While there are some instances when heel pain is being triggered by a serious condition that requires special medical treatment, surgery, or therapy, many cases of heel pain can be handled at home, especially if you catch the problem early on. If you are experiencing heel pain from overexercise, too much walking, or improper foot wear, here are a few helpful, important stretches you should try to alleviate the pain. Remember, you should do these on a regular basis for best results and if the pain persists or is caused by something more serious, don’t do these stretches and instead make an appointment with a podiatrist.
- The Stretch on the Staircase: For this stretch you are going to need—you guessed it—a staircase (or at least one step to work with). To begin, place both of your feet on the step with your heels hanging off the edge. To maintain your balance, you can place your hand on the wall next to you and keep yourself supported that way. Once you have your feet placed on the step next to each other, rise up on your toes before slowly lowering yourself back down again. You will feel a refreshing stretch in your heels and your calves when you slowly lower yourself down. Repeat this motion fifteen times before resting for thirty to sixty seconds. Do three sets of this exercise. This is an important stretch because it relaxes the heels and calves, promotes flexibility, alleviates heel and calf pain, and builds up muscle in these areas so that you won’t be as prone to injury again in the future.
- Stretching The Plantar: Start by sitting down on a yoga mat or towel with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Maintain proper posture in your upper body, slowly bring one leg toward your body with your knee bent. Take your hand and reach for your toes, slowly bringing them towards you to get a deep stretch in your heel. Repeat this again on the other side and do this stretch a minimum of ten times. The purpose of this stretch is to alleviate any tension in the plantar fascia ligament which goes up and down your foot. If you do this stretch on a daily basis, you can expect the pain to start going away within a week. You can continue to do this stretch even after the pain is gone to maintain healthy flexibility in your muscles and prevent them from getting injured again in the future.
- The Wall Stretch: This is a heel and calf stretch that you will often see long-distance runners, sprinters, and other athletes do on a regular basis. This stretch does an excellent job of keeping calf muscles relaxed and flexible, which is necessary to prevent injury. However, even if your heel is already experiencing a bit of pain, the wall stretch can be an effective remedy. To do this exercise correctly, stand in front of a wall and place your hand on the wall. Keep your left leg closer to the wall and your right leg a couple of inches behind you. Start by standing on the toes of your right foot and slowly lowering your heel toward the ground, getting a deep stretch. Repeat this stretch on your left leg and do ten on each side.
Looking for more advice on treating heel pain? Or are you suffering from some other painful foot condition? Dr. Alec Hochstein and Dr. Diana Gagliano are uniquely qualified to answer all of your questions and concerns. Don’t hesitate to contact us today with any questions that you might have.