3 Convenient Calf Stretches for Plantar Fasciitis

Written by: Celina Caovan, Exercise Specialist at Coury and Buehler Physical Therapy

If you’ve been suffering from plantar fasciitis like me, I’m sure you are looking for any way to relieve the irritating pain in your foot. For the past 10 months, I have been working as an exercise specialist at a physical therapy clinic where I spend several hours a day on my feet. Within the last few months, I started experiencing pain in my right heel every time I walk on it.

Quick Tip: Wearing flats without arch support – don’t do it!

My physical therapists told me one way to alleviate heel pain and move closer to the rehabilitation of plantar fasciitis is to STRETCH, starting with the calf muscles.

Calf stretches are simple and there are many ways to do them, but the hardest part is being consistent and finding time in your day. Check out 3 variations of calf stretches you can do depending on where you are. This can make stretching more convenient for you, while maximizing stretching time!

 

1. Wall Stretch

calf stretch against wall .JPG

How to do it: 

  1. Support yourself by placing both hands on a wall
  2. Put one leg in front of the other, keeping the back leg straight and heel on the ground
  3. Lean forward until a strong stretch is felt and hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. 

You can do this stretch first thing in the morning before you head to the bathroom and right before jumping into bed. That is already at least two times a day! 

2. Step Stretch

How to do it: 

  1. Place your foot on the edge of a step or ledge
  2. Drop your heel towards the ground to stretch the calf

If you have stairs at home or at work, stop and stretch out for 30 seconds every time you have to walk up or down. Since you’re already using the stairs, might as well spend an extra couple of seconds to stretch.

 

3. Strap Stretch

 How to do it:

  1. Sit with your legs extended on a flat surface
  2. Loop a strap, belt, or towel around the ball of your foot
  3. Pull the strap towards your body until you feel it in your calf

This is the perfect stretch for when you’re either sitting on the couch or sitting in bed. If you’re binge-watching Netflix, imagine all the stretching you can get in! 


With 3 different ways to stretch your calves, you will find more places in your everyday routine to stretch. Doing calf stretches multiple times every day and everywhere you go at your own convenience is a great way to combat the pain from plantar fasciitis!

Important: Stretching may help alleviate some pain from plantar fasciitis, but just stretching alone may not be enough. I recommend seeing a physical therapist if symptoms worsen.