Heel spurs are a common condition that is caused by abnormal amounts of tension and stress on the plantar fascia, but it often affects the bones. This condition can lead to pain, inflammation, and even difficulty walking or standing for prolonged periods of time.
Fortunately, there are a number of exercises that can help reduce the symptoms of heel spurs and give your feet much-needed relief. Here are some helpful exercises that your physical therapist may recommend.
Standing Calf Stretches
Calf stretches are an important exercise for heel spur sufferers because they help stretch the plantar fascia and calves. This relieves tension and helps reduce inflammation.
There are several types of calf stretches you can do while standing. One exercise is to place your hands against the wall, with one leg forward and one leg back. Push your hips slightly forward and hold the stretch. Then switch legs and do the same thing.
Calf raises can help strengthen the muscles surrounding your heel. You'll build muscle that will support other parts of your body.
Start by standing on a flat surface with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly raise and lower the balls of your feet, while keeping your ankles and knees locked.
As you get stronger and more confident, increase the number of repetitions you do at one time. You can also hold weights.
Calf Foam Roll
Foam rolling is an effective way to massage and relieve tension and inflammation in the calves. It helps to stretch out tight muscles, release knots, and reduce pain in the heel.
To do this exercise, use a foam roller to target your calf muscles. Roll up and down the muscle, starting at your ankle and working up towards your knee. Make sure to pause for a few seconds in areas where you feel tightness or pain.
The best way to do this is while sitting. Put the foam roller between your calf and the floor to really get deep into your muscles.
Seated Calf Stretch
This exercise helps to stretch out your plantar fascia, relieving tension and reducing pain in the heel.
Start by sitting on the ground with your legs out in front of you. Gently lean forward, flexing your toes and stretching out your plantar fascia. Hold the stretch and then switch feet.
Downward Dog Pedals
Downward dog pedaling is a yoga exercise that helps to stretch and strengthen your calves.
Start by getting into the downward-facing dog position, with your hands and feet on the ground. Bend one knee and then straighten it before moving to the other, as if you were pedaling your feet in this position.
Talk to Your Physical Therapist to Learn More
Heel spurs can be painful and difficult to manage. Fortunately, these exercises can help reduce pain. For more info about orthopedic physical therapy, contact a local professional.