The Top 5 Exercises for Heel Pain in Runners
The top 5 exercises for heel pain in runners will be discussed in this blog.
The exercises will help improve muscle strength and promote flexibility in the foot and leg muscles. Ultimately it will allow you to get back to running faster and free from pain.
Exercises for Heel Pain in Runners
1. Plantar fascia stretch –
This stretch will relieve the tension in the plantar fascia. In sitting with the injured foot resting on the other leg, bend the ankle and toes up as shown in the picture. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times, do this 3 times per day.
2. Calf stretch –
Tightness in the calf muscle can make the pain from plantar fasciitis worse. Stretching the calf muscle can help ease the pain. Stand near a wall with one foot in front of the other, front knee slightly bent. Keep your back leg straight, heel on the ground, and lean toward the wall. Feel the stretch along the calf of your back leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, repeat 10 times 1-2 times a day.
3. Rolling stretch –
Place a round object like a golf ball or trigger point massage ball under the arch of the foot. Rollback and forth for 2 minutes. Repeat 2-3 times throughout the day.
4. Modified calf raises –
Of the top 5 exercises for heel pain in runners, this one is definitely the most challenging. Its best done barefoot.With a rolled-up towel under the toes. Push up into a calf raise, hold at the top, then slowly lower down. The speed should be 3 seconds up, 2-second hold at the top, 3 seconds lowering. Do 3 sets of 12 reps on each leg. If too painful or difficult, start on 2 legs and gradually progress under the guidance of a Podiatrist or Physiotherapist.
5. Short foot exercise –
The short foot exercise can be a little tricky but with the help of a Physiotherapist or Podiatrist, it can be mastered. The idea is to shorten the foot by contracting the small muscles in the foot to raise the arch.Sit in a chair barefoot and form a 90-degree angle at the knee and ankle. Try to shorten the foot by bringing the ball of the foot towards your heel, doming the arch of the foot. Do one foot at a time and try to avoid scrunching up the toes. Hold for 10 seconds then relax and repeat 10-12 times. Practice throughout the day, you can even do it sitting at your desk.
Combine the top 5 exercises for heel pain in runners with an appropriate level of activity that doesn’t aggravate symptoms. Choose suitable footwear and consider foot orthotics to help the pain settle. Contact us for more information and a consult with our podiatrist