LONDON FOOT & ANKLE SURGERY
Mr Andy Roche MSc FRCS (Tr & Orth) Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon specialising
in Foot and Ankle Surgery and Reconstruction

Plantar Fasciitis Exercises

Stretching the plantar fascia on the sole of the foot can be quite painful initially but it is important to try to push through this discomfort to perform the exercises. Taking pain-killers before the exercises is a good idea if needed.

The exercises below can be performed in order or in actual fact if you can do one or 2 exercises at opportune moments throughout the day then that’s great! It is important to try to continue these exercises for 2-3 months to improve your chances of making a good recovery.

Plantar Fasciitis Exercise 1

Exercise 1

Heel tissue massage

  • Cross your legs over
  • Stretch your toes backwards to tighten the tissue on the bottom of your foot
  • Press firmly onto the sole of the foot and deeply massage up and down the sole of the foot for 10 seconds
  • Repeat this 10 times in total
  • Perform this set of 10 massages 2-3 times every day
  • Just before getting out of bed is good and after sitting for long periods
Plantar Fasciitis Exercise 2

Exercise 2

Frozen can/ball roll

  • Place a frozen can or ball (a golf ball is good but can be uncomfortable so initially try a tennis ball or squash ball) under your foot
  • Roll continuously for 2 minutes
  • Performed before getting up in the morning or after sitting for long periods is good but can be done anytime during the day.
Plantar Fasciitis Exercise 3

Exercise 3

Band/towel stretch

  • Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front.
  • Loop a towel/rope/band around the ball of your foot and pull the towel stretching the back of your calf.
  • Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Plantar Fasciitis Exercise 4

Exercise 4

Standing calf stretch

  • Facing a wall, put your hands against the wall at about eye level. Keep the sore foot back and your good foot forward, and the heel of your injured foot firmly on the floor.
  • Turn your injured foot slightly inward (as if you were pigeon-toed) and slowly lean into the wall until you feel a stretch in the back of your calf.
  • Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Plantar Fasciitis Exercise 5

Exercise 5

Standing Soleus muscle stretch

  • Stand facing the wall with your hands on the wall
  • Keep your knees a little bent and the sore foot back
  • Gently lean your knees in towards the wall to stretch the back of the calf
  • Keep your heel on the ground
  • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times 
Plantar Fasciitis Exercise 6

Exercise 6

Standing foot stretch

  • Stand with the ball of your injured foot on a step.
  • Reach for the bottom step with your heel until you feel a stretch in the arch of your foot. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then relax.
  • Repeat 3 times.
Plantar Fasciitis Exercise 7

Exercise 7

Sitting toe lift

  • Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Raise the toes and the ball of your injured foot off the floor while keeping your heel on the floor.
  • Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times. Do 3 sets of 10. 
  • Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS
  • The Lister Hospital, Chelsea
  • Fortius Clinic
  • Bupa Cromwell Road