Exercising with heel spurs begins with stretching of the calves and plantar fascia. Tightness in these muscles leads to the pain from plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, and making those muscles stronger and more flexible allows exercise with minimal discomfort, notes the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Stretching the calf and plantar fascia on the affected foot is vital for exercise to take place without further inflammation. One calf stretch involves leaning against the wall with the affected foot extended to the rear. Keeping the knee straight, lean into the wall, bend the knee on the forward foot and push the hips toward the wall, feeling the stretch in the calf. To stretch the plantar fascia, sit down and place the affected foot on the knee of the other leg before pulling the toes of the affected foot toward yourself, feeling the stretch on the bottom of the foot. If it is hard to reach the foot, wrap a towel around the toe, and pull the towel. Repeating each stretch 20 times promotes healing in the foot, as stated by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Ironically, during exercise, heel spurs almost never cause pain. This is because the actual cause of the pain is inflammation in the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and supports the ball. Pain most often strikes right after the patient gets up in the morning or after sitting for an extended period of time. Once the patient starts walking around, the pain eases, not to return until after the activity — including exercise — comes to an end, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.