Stretching Exercises

These exercises stretch the muscles at the back of the lower leg (the calf) and the Achilles tendon. Do these exercises 2 or 3 times a day, 5 days a week. Stretching exercises should create a pulling feeling. They should not cause pain. It's best to do each exercise two or three times during the day, but you do not need to do them all at once.

Calf Stretch

  • Stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall at about eye level. Put the leg you want to stretch about a step behind your other leg. 
  • Keeping your back heel on the floor, bend your front knee until you feel a stretch in the back leg
  • Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Towel Stretch

  • Place a rolled towel under the ball of your foot, holding the towel at both ends.
  • Gently pull the towel toward you while keeping your knee straight.
  • Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat 2 to 4 times.

Plantar Fascia & Calf Stretch

  • Stand on a step as shown above. Be sure to hold on to the banister.
  • Slowly let your heels down over the edge of the step as you relax your calf muscles. You should feel a gentle stretch across the bottom of your foot and up the back of your leg to your knee.
  • Hold the stretch about 15 to 30 seconds, then tighten your calf muscle a little to bring your heel back up to the level of the step. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Towel Curl

  • While sitting, place your foot on a towel on the floor and scrunch the towel toward you with your toes.
  • Then, also using your toes, push the towel away from you.  Make this exercise more challenging by placing a weighted object, such as a soup can, on the other end of the towel.

Marble Pickups

  • Put marbles on the floor next to a cup. Using your toes, try to lift the marbles up from the floor and put them in the cup.

Soothe Sore Feet

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  • Place soft ball under one foot, in front of the heel. Slowly move the ball from side to side, keeping toes on the floor.
  • Next, roll ball to the back of your heel and return to front. Apply more pressure.
  • Rock foot from left to right over the ball. Repeat on opposite foot.

Roll Exercises

  • Place ball under big-toe knuckle.
  • Keeping heel on the floor, gently roll ball toward the outside of the foot.
  • Return to start, then roll ball toward heel in a continuous motion.
  • Repeat, each time moving the ball to the next knuckle. Repeat on opposite foot.