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Stretching Exercises

Stretch­ing Exer­cises Rec­om­mended by The Amer­i­can Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society

Exercise 1

Lean for­ward against a wall, keep­ing one knee straight while you bend the other knee. (If both of your heels hurt, then you need to reverse this posi­tion after you have exer­cised each heel. If only one of your heels hurt, the painful heel is placed fur­ther away from the wall). As you bend for­ward, the leg that remains straight is the one that you will be exer­cis­ing. As you lean for­ward, you can feel your heel cord and the arch of your foot stretch. (Try to keep your heel on the ground, although as you stretch, it will grad­u­ally lift off the ground). STRETCH AND HOLD FOR 10 SECONDS. Then relax and straighten up– THEN STRETCH AGAIN. Repeat this 20 times. If your other heel both­ers you, then you should stretch this side as well by revers­ing your position.

Exercise 2

Lean for­ward as you lean onto a table, chair or coun­ter­top. In this exer­cise, you will flex both of your knees. Squat down slowly. Try to keep your heels on the ground, as long as you can, as you squat down. You will feel your heel cords and the arches of your feet stretch, as your heel finally starts to rise off the ground as you squat down. When you feel these struc­tures REALLY STRETCHING, hold that posi­tion for 10 sec­onds. Then STRAIGHTEN UP. Repeat this 20 times.

Exercise 3

Stand on the bot­tom step of a set of stairs and bal­ance your­self on the balls of your feet. Slowly lower your heels as low as they will go and until you begin to feel your calf mus­cles really stretch. Hold that posi­tion for 10 sec­onds, then raise up and repeat this exer­cise 20 times.