Plantar Fasciitis Exercises for Runners

Natalie Cecconi
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Stretches to relieve plantar fasciitis pain

Plantar fasciitis commonly afflicts people with high arches or flat feet and can be debilitating or even impossible to ignore. Even minor weight-bearing activities, such as walking, can harm, and often cause excruciating pain and inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick, tissue-like ligament that runs across the bottom of your foot, from the base of the toes to the bone on the bottom of the foot, or calcaneus.

Those with flat feet are most likely to develop the condition, but anyone can be hurt by plantar fasciitis, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Those who run are particularly vulnerable to plantar fasciitis, a condition that can range from annoying to severely debilitating.

The pain of plantar fasciitis generally hurts worse in the morning or after you’ve been sitting for a while or after a long workout, and the foot is relieved by activity.

Plantar fasciitis might be hereditary, it’s easily aggravated by exercise, though it can be reduced with good plantar fasciatus stretches and exercises.

Controlling this condition earlier rather than later is very important so that more serious issues do not develop.

The basic plantar Fasciitis exercise is done by placing towels underneath the ball of the foot.

Calf Stretch

The plantar fasciitis exercises below can help you lessen your pain and also load your foot and arch so they can support the foot, heel and ankle better.

The calf stretch is great as a starter exercise. It is pretty easy and costs nothing.

  1. To perform the calf stretch exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees soft.
  2. Look straight ahead and lift your heels off the floor. You want your weight to be centered in the middle of the foot.
  3. To increase intensity, try lifting one foot at a time.
  4. You can also place a towel or phone book under your heels. Roll the towel up a bit until you are around four inches from the floor. This will increase the stretch.
  5. Hold for thirty seconds.

Plantar Fascia Stretches

Like any tendons and muscles group in the body, the plantar fascia can benefit from a few targeted stretches before and after taking part in a running workout. These flexibility exercises are especially important if you have plantar fasciitis.

If you’re looking to treat plantar fasciitis naturally, consider doing stretches before and after getting up in the morning, after a break at work, after sitting for a long time, and before you go to bed.

Although a variety of stretches can help relieve plantar fasciitis symptoms, you should start with these because they will likely have the most effect when it comes to relieving foot pain:

For stretching the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, take a step forward with your right foot. Bend your knee and hold the bottom of your foot with your left hand. Gently pull your toes up toward your shin until you feel a stretch in the back of your heel. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.

For stretching the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, take a step forward with your left foot. Bend your knee and hold the bottom of your foot with your right hand. Gently pull your toes up toward your shin until you feel a stretch in the back of your heel. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.

Exercising to reduce plantar fasciitis pain

Although running may aggravate it, plantar fasciitis is often caused by over-use and age. One of the big culprits is excessive pressure on the flexor tendon as it pulls from the heel bone into the ball of the foot. (Pulled Achilles tendons can also produce the same symptoms.)

Here are some plantar fasciitis exercises for runners that can help reduce the pain and minimize the possibility that it will turn into a full blown case.

Mild cases of plantar fasciitis can be remedied fairly quickly by stretching the calf, plantar muscle (fascia), and Achilles tendon.

Since it’s tough to stretch the plantar fascia, some people find it helpful to use a golf ball or tennis ball to do some gentle massage and stretching.

The classic heel massage is also very helpful. You simply massage the bottom of your foot to release tension and break up any adhesions in the soft tissue.

Plantar fasciitis stretches can help reduce the tension on the plantar fascia and let the tissue heal.

Always be sure to ice the foot for 15 to 20 minutes several times per day.

What not to do:

Don’t use a night splint to stretch the plantar fascia. Your foot needs to be relaxed to heal.

Other Advice

If you have plantar fasciitis, you’ll need to be diligent about treating it to avoid further injury to your foot and to get back to enjoying running.

There are a few basic things you should always do:

First of all, make sure to wear shoes with adequate support and cushioning for maximum comfort.

Add extra padding on the balls and heels of your bare feet.

Massage your feet both during and, at the very least, after a run.

Don’t ignore your foot pain. Keep your feet well supported and as healthy as possible. You can keep them healthy and ensure that your recovery progresses correctly by making sure you do the following_

Enjoy your rest and recuperation time without feeling guilty.

Maintain your fitness as much as possible without straining your plantar fasciitis.

Use a few simple strengthening exercises if necessary:

Tie a towel around your foot and stand on your toes.

Or get onto the edge of a high step and place your heel above the edge while doing a calf raise.

Use a resistance band to do some version of toe raises while standing or sitting.

Use an elastic band and hold on to a table or chair while standing.