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Plantar Fasciitis: Exercises to Relieve Pain

Key points

  • Heel pain can be caused by stress placed on the plantar fascia ligament camera.gif when it is stretched irregularly, which causes small tears and inflammation. Stretching and strengthening exercises can help the ligament become more flexible and can strengthen muscles that support the arch, in turn reducing stress on the ligament.
  • Exercises for plantar fasciitis—when combined with other steps such as resting, avoiding activities that make heel pain worse, using shoe inserts, icing, or taking pain relievers—usually succeed in relieving heel pain.
  • Exercises for plantar fasciitis may be especially helpful for reducing heel pain when you first get out of bed.
  • If you have questions about how to do these exercises or if your heel pain gets worse, talk to your doctor.

what.gif  What exercises will reduce plantar fasciitis?
why.gif Why is it important to do exercises for plantar fasciitis?
how.gif How to do exercises for plantar fasciitis
where.gif Where can I learn more about exercises for plantar fasciitis?

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Citations

  1. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and American Academy of Pediatrics (2010). Plantar fasciitis chapter of Foot and ankle section. In JF Sarwark, ed., Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care, 4th ed., pp. 839–844. Rosemont, IL: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Other Works Consulted

  • Digiovanni BF, et al. (2006). Plantar fascia-specific stretching exercise improves outcomes in patients with chronic plantar fasciitis. A prospective clinical trial with two-year follow-up. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 88(6): 1775–1781.

  • Pasquina PF, Foster LS (2008). Plantar fasciitis. In WR Frontera et al., eds., Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation, 2nd ed., pp. 469–473. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Barry L. Scurran, DPM - Podiatry and Podiatric Surgery
Last Revised July 13, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 13, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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