Q:

What are the best stretches for plantar fasciitis?

A:

Quick Answer

Effective stretches for plantar fasciitis include pulling the foot back while sitting cross-legged as well as stretching the Achilles tendon, according to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. Patients may also perform a specific squatting exercise in front of a countertop to stretch the heel chords and foot arches

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Full Answer

Patients should begin the first stretch by sitting down and crossing the affected leg over the other leg, as instructed by the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. The patient should then use one hand to pull the toes toward the shin, creating tension in the plantar fascia. To make sure the stretch is correct, the patient can rub the thumb over the arch to check for a firm, taut feel. To stretch the Achilles tendon, the patient should place a shoe insert under the affected foot, facing a wall with the affected foot behind the other. The leg closest to the wall should bend at the knee as the patient leans into the wall, keeping the affected heel firmly on the ground. Each stretch should be held for 10 seconds in sets of 10 and completed three times per day.

For the last exercise, the patient should stand in front of a countertop with feet apart and one slightly in front of the other, as stated by the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. Keeping heels on the ground, the patient should bend the knees and squat down while holding the countertop. The patient should hold the position for 10 seconds before standing, repeating the stretch 20 times.

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