Here are the best stretches for plantar fasciitis...

Stretches for plantar fasciitis are important for helping reduce heel pain and foot pain because of plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is the name given to the bottom of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is a tearing and subsequent inflammation of the ligaments on the bottom of the foot, which in turn causes pain. Plantar fascitis is the most common cause of heel pain.

Here are stretches for plantar fasciitis that have been proven to help reduce calf and foot tightness and foot pain. Note - if any of the stretches are painful, do not continue. Doing so can cause further damage. Always stretch gently. Take it easy and feel the muscles and ligaments stretch and lengthen.

• 1. Use a tennis ball - place a tennis ball on the floor and slowly roll your foot over it to stretch out the plantar fascia. A great time to do stretches for plantar fasciitis is while watching television or reading.

If you have a desk job at work, you can easily perform this stretch at various times there. However, if rolling your foot this way causes pain, don't continue.

• 2. Use a towel - put a towel on the floor and put your feet on the end of the towel nearest you. Then curl your toes so that your toes grip the towel, pull it under your feet, relax your toes, then grip and pull more towel under your feet. Repeat several times until your feet become tired.

Another of the stretches for plantar fasciitis is this - using the same towel, fold the towel and wrap the towel around the ball of your foot. Pull the towel and the ball of your foot toward you gently for 30 to 60 seconds. Try to keep your leg straight. This will give you a nice stretch in your foot and calf. Stretch for about 30 seconds as many as 5 to 10 times a day.

• 3. Stretch your feet and calves before getting out of bed in the mornings if you have pain then. Keep a towel nearby and before getting up, perform the towel stretch described above.

• 4. Stretch your feet and calves during the day. The best stretches are accomplished after walking for a few minutes while the muscles are warm. Use stairs, curbs, books - just hang your heel over the edge and slowly let your weight down, getting a great stretch. You can support most of your weight with one foot while letting the other hang over the edge and stretching it.

Do the runner's stretch - lean against a wall, filing cabinet, desk, fence - whatever, and gently lean forward with one of your feet on the floor or ground out in front of the other.

Editor's note - see the highly-rated foot stretcher product below.

Foot Stretcher System by Medi-Dyne

• 5. Use night splints - flexible, adjustable night splints are one of the most effective stretches for plantar fasciitis. Night splints provide easy constant stretching for your foot bottom and calf while you are asleep.

Editors note - below is an effective plantar fasciitis night splint that is available online.

Adjustable Night Splint by Swede-O

Most people have better success with the plantar fascitis night splints that are the adjustable type. The one shown above has received excellent user reviews.

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