Plantar fasciitis: Self Treatment

Regular, gentle stretching of your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia may help to ease your symptoms. This is because most people with plantar fasciitis have a slight tightness of their Achilles tendon. If this is the case, it tends to pull at the back of your heel and has a knock-on effect of keeping your plantar fascia tight. Also, when you are asleep overnight, your plantar fascia tends to tighten up (which is why it is usually most painful first thing in the morning). The aim of these exercises is to loosen up the tendons and fascia gently above and below your heel.

1. Soleus Stretch
With both knees apart and your toes facing forward, lean into the wall until you feel the stretch in your lower calf. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

2. Step Stretch
Stand with your toes on a step and your heels off the edge. Slowly lower your heels down, hold for 15 seconds, and then lift your heels to their starting position. You can either do both feet at the same time, or one foot at a time. Repeat five times.

3. Roll Stretch
Using a mini roll, roll it back and forth from your toes to your heels. Alternatively you can use a tennis ball or a glass bottle.

4. Plantar Fascia Massage
Using two fingers, apply small circular friction to any tight knots or lumps in the plantar fascia. The pressure should be deep, but not so much that you tighten up with pain.

5. Elastic Strap Stretch
Sit on the floor with your legs straight in from of you. Take a stretch strap and place it around your toes. Gently pull the strap towards you. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then release. Repeat 3 times.

6. Toe Stretch
Place just toes up on the wall with the ball of the foot and heel on the ground. Lean into the wall slowly until stretch is felt. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.