In a big, blue collar city like Chicago—where standing, walking, and working on your feet is the norm—heel pain is a common complaint. Fortunately, most cases are temporary and can be dealt with conservatively. If you’re currently struggling with a bit of pain in and around your heels, stretching can help. Here are a few to try:
- Calf stretch. Often, tight calves contribute to heel pain conditions such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis. Stand in front of a wall, about an arm’s length away. Slowly bend one leg forward, keeping the back leg straight and the trailing foot flat on the ground. You can place your hands on the wall for support if necessary.
- Arch massage. Sit on a chair, then grab a round object. This could be a foam roller, cold water bottle, tennis ball, etc. With gentle pressure, roll the object back and forth under your foot for about a minute, then switch.
- Pick up objects with your toes. You can try tasks like grasping a small towel with your toes and dragging it back and forth, or placing a number of small marbles underfoot, picking them up with your toes, and placing them in a cup or bowl.
- Resistance stretches. Grab a seat, either on a chair or the ground. Then, take a resistance band, towel, scarf, or folded piece of cloth and wrap it around your arch. Gently pull on the ends of the band with your hands, bring your toes back toward your body while providing resistance with your foot.
- Big toe stretch. From a chair, cross one leg over the other. With the same sided hand as the crossed leg, reach out and grab your big toe and pull it gently toward yourself.
If your heel pain doesn’t subside after a few days, even with rest and stretching, make an appointment with our office for further help. Chronic heel pain can put a serious cramp on your lifestyle, and it doesn’t have to be that way! Our team offers comprehensive care solutions, such as physical therapy, custom orthotics, and other techniques. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Walters in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood of Chicago, give us a call at (773) 586-0050. The best times to reach us are Mondays from 10:45 to 4:45, or Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:45 to 1:15 or 4:30 to 7 p.m.