The intense heel pain in the morning comes from the tightening of the plantar fascia that occurs during sleep. To make the ligaments more flexible and for strengthening the muscles in the arch, following stretching and strengthening exercises can be of great help:
- You can stretch your foot, flex it up, and repeat this for about twenty times. Stretching exercises should create a pulling feeling without causing pain.
- A toe stretch helps in stretching the plantar fascia. By sitting in the chair, keep the heel on the floor, reach down the toes with your hand, and pull it towards the ankle. Holding it for 15 to 20 seconds in this position and let it go.
- Use a towel to stretch the bottom of your foot (towel stretch). You can alternatively keep a rolled towel under the feet balls and pull it up gently and hold in this position by keeping your knee straight. Then relax.
- By sitting in the chair, roll the rolling pin or ball with the arch of your foot. If you can do it, keep doing this exercise in a standing position. All the above exercises can be repeated three to four times.
- Calf stretch will stretch the muscles at the back of the lower leg. Doing this exercise for three to four times a day on alternate days of the week will help reduce the pain due to plantar fasciitis.
- Stretching the plantar fascia will help reduce the foot pain. This exercise can be done as many times as possible.
- Pushing and pulling the towel that is placed on the floor using the toes, being seated, can help in strengthening the muscles.
- Picking up marbles from the floor and putting them in the cup near to the marbles using your toes can be helpful in stretching and strengthening the foot and the leg.