Stretches to Sooth and Help Heel Pain

Jul 14, 2023

Heel pain can be a debilitating condition that affects your daily activities and overall quality of life. Whether you are suffering from plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis, finding relief is essential. In this comprehensive guide, brought to you by Michigan Foot and Ankle Specialists, we will explore the main causes of heel pain, the associated symptoms, effective exercises you can do at home, and when it’s time to schedule an appointment with us.

What are the main causes of heel pain?

Heel pain can stem from various causes, but two primary conditions are often responsible:

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common culprit of heel pain. It occurs when the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue running along the bottom of the foot, becomes inflamed or strained. This condition is often associated with repetitive stress, improper footwear, or overuse.

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis refers to inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. This condition typically results from repetitive strain or overuse of the tendon, leading to pain and swelling in the back of the heel.

massaging heel pain

What are the symptoms associated with these issues?

Recognizing the symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis is crucial for understanding your condition. Common symptoms include:

– Sharp or stabbing pain in the heel or back of the foot.

– Pain that worsens with activity or after prolonged periods of rest.

– Stiffness and limited range of motion.

– Swelling and tenderness in the affected area.

What are some exercises you can do at home to help

While professional care is important, there are effective exercises and stretches you can do at home to alleviate heel pain. Here are three exercises that can provide relief.

Plantar Fascia Massage

Sit on a chair and place a tennis ball or a frozen water bottle on the floor. Roll your foot over the ball or bottle, applying gentle pressure. This massage helps stretch and loosen the plantar fascia, reducing pain and promoting flexibility. Repeat the exercise for a few minutes on each foot.

Heel Raises

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, facing a wall, or using stable support for balance. Slowly raise your heels, lifting your body weight onto your toes. Hold this position for a few seconds, then lower your heels back down. Repeat 10-15 times to strengthen the calf muscles and improve stability.

Wall-Facing Calf Stretch

Stand facing a wall and place your hands against it at shoulder height. Step one foot forward, keeping it flat on the ground, and bend the knee while extending the other leg behind you. Lean forward, feeling a stretch in the calf of the extended leg. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. This stretch helps lengthen the calf muscles, reducing strain on the heel.

heel pain 1

When is it time to schedule an appointment with us?

While home exercises and stretches can provide relief for mild heel pain, there are instances when it’s essential to schedule an appointment with Michigan Foot and Ankle Specialists. Consider seeking professional care if:

– The pain persists or worsens despite home remedies.

– You are unable to perform daily activities due to severe heel pain.

– There are signs of infection, such as redness, warmth, or discharge from the affected area.

– You have a history of foot or ankle problems, or if the pain is accompanied by other concerning symptoms.

Our experienced team of podiatrists at Michigan Foot and Ankle Specialists specializes in diagnosing and treating various foot and ankle conditions, including heel pain. We will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan to alleviate your discomfort and promote optimal foot health.


Heel pain can significantly impact your daily life, but with the right exercises and professional care, relief is possible. By understanding the causes, recognizing the symptoms, and incorporating targeted stretches into your routine, you can take steps toward soothing and improving heel pain. If home remedies don’t provide the desired relief, don’t hesitate to contact Michigan Foot and Ankle Specialists for expert guidance and personalized treatment.



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Dearborn, MI 48126


(313) 582-6222


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