Plantar Fasciitis: Easy Exercises to Get Rid of Foot Pain

Plantar fasciitis commonly affects runners and can be stubborn to get rid of. Read on for tips and exercises to heal up and get back out on the road!

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, a structure that runs from the heel of the foot out to each of the toes. The plantar fascia also has connections to the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel and to the calf muscle.

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. It can be extremely painful, debilitating and stubborn to treat.

Disclaimer: Although I am a physical therapist by profession, I am not YOUR physical therapist. This article is for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and does not establish any kind of therapist-patient relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information.

Who does it affect?


Plantar fasciitis commonly affects runners who have recently increased mileage or who have changed footwear–going to a new sneaker model or even just breaking in a new pair of the same model.

New Exercisers

It can affect those who are beginning an exercise regimen. Doing too much too soon puts added strain on the plantar fascia and can result in injury.

Footwear fashionistas

General changes in footwear or wearing unsupportive shoes, like sandals, flip flops, ballet flats, high heels, clogs or any open backed shoe, can lead to heel and arch pain as well.

I typically see an uptick in patients with plantar fasciitis when the weather changes and summer footwear comes out.

Those who have had weight changes

People who have recently gained a notable amount of weight can also develop plantar fasciitis. Increased weight means increased strain and stretch on the fascia.

Hyperpronators or supinators

It is a common misconception that people with flat feet or hyperpronation are more apt to develop arch and heel pain. People with high arches are also susceptible because the plantar fascia is in a shortened position, which can lead to tightness and pain.

What are the common signs and symptoms?

  • Pain in the heel or the bottom of the foot, mostly when standing or walking
  • The pain is better when sitting or lying down
  • The first few steps out of bed in the morning are usually the most painful
  • Tenderness along the arch of your foot or in the bottom of the heel

Get rid of foot pain: 5 things to do now

1. Stretch your plantar fascia

Stretch your foot: Cross your ankle over your opposite knee, pull the big toe back until you feel a stretch in the arch of your foot.


Stretch the big toe to stretch the plantar fascia
2. Stretch your calf
Stand in a lunge position with one foot in front of the other about a step’s width apart. Place your hands on a wall, or other support, bend the front knee to get a stretch in the calf of the opposite leg.
Stretch your calf to stretch your plantar fascia.
3. Release your plantar fascia

In sitting, roll a tennis ball or golf ball under your foot for 5 minutes. Move the ball lengthwise up and down the foot as well as side to side and in circles.

You can stop on any tender spots and apply a tolerable amount of pressure for a trigger point release.

Rolling your foot on a tennis ball will help increase plantar fascia mobility.
4. Ice your foot

Put ice on your foot for 10 to 15 minutes to decrease pain and inflammation. Or, alternatively, roll you foot over a frozen water bottle.

5. Get a supportive brace

Wear a night splint or a resting splint. This will keep your plantar fascia in optimal alignment for healing while you sleep. This should greatly reduce your pain when you first get out of bed.

Get a brace

6. Get shoe inserts.

Whether you have high arches or flat feet, orthotics can help support your plantar fascia. This will help improve not only your oain but your overall alignment.

Good ones to try: SuperFeet.

These are sort of between your pharmacy Dr. Scholl’s and custom orthotics. They’re of good quality and will last you a while.

Remember, orthotics should be used in conjunction with good, supportive shoes. They do not take the place of good, supportive shoes!!

How can I prevent plantar fasciitis?

Once you are pain free, stay pain free by following these simple tips:

  • Always do a light warm up before any exercise
  • If you have not been exercising regularly, start slowly!  Do not go out and walk a few miles if you’ve been relatively inactive.  Start with just 10 or 15 minutes and build from there.
  • If you are an avid exerciser, gradually increase mileage or time on your feet. A really safe guideline is to follow the weekly 10% rule.
  • Always wear supportive footwear, whether for exercise or to simply do your grocery shopping.
  • Replace footwear regularly. Shoes are not meant to be worn for years! Especially your running and walking sneakers. These should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles depending on how “hard” you are on your shoes.

Be smart about your foot health.  Take these steps to help prevent and treat plantar fasciitis. You now have the steps and the knowledge to treat your own foot pain. You can return to having a healthy, active and pain-free life.

More tips, LIVE trainings and advice on injury healing and prevention:

For more info as well as FREE live trainings, PDF downloads, advice and support on your running journey, join Running Community for Moms on Facebook! Just click HERE to become a member!

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I help Moms at all stages of postpartum get back into running successfully to relieve pain, remove discomfort and enrich lives.

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