Heel spurs can leave your feet tight, sore, and aching with each step you take. Even with high-quality orthotics, the muscles in your feet can become stiff and agitated if not properly stretched. While it might seem trivial, doing daily stretches can vastly improve your condition and help reduce the pain in your foot. They aren’t necessarily going to fix your heel spur long-term, but they can temporarily make you more comfortable. But what kind of heel spur stretches should you be doing?
Standing Wall Calf Stretch
A simple yet effective heel spur stretch, the standing wall calf stretch can be done virtually anywhere, making it extremely versatile. Simply stand in front of the nearest wall with one foot in front of the other. Place the ball of your foot against the wall and lean into it until you begin to feel a deep stretch in your calf and heel. Hold this position for roughly thirty seconds, then switch feet and repeat the process until a few sets have been completed. This stretch will work the calf muscles and the heel to relieve any built-up tension.
Ball Roll Stretch
Begin by grabbing an object that can be easily rolled with your foot, such as a frozen water bottle, a golf ball, or a tennis ball. Next, roll it along the ground with the bottom of your foot to rub out knots and irritation. Transition to your heel to target the spur directly, and do so for a minute before switching feet. The pressure put on the heel and bottom of the foot should relieve some of the pain.
Another stretch that can be done anywhere at any time, calf raises work several muscles in the feet as well, obviously, the calves. These can be done standing flat on the floor, but work even better when done from the edge of a step. Just place the front half of your feet on a step with the heels hanging off the back edge, then raise yourself onto the balls of your feet multiple times. This heel spur stretch is quick and easy.
Utilizing a towel to grab and pull with your toes will help to build muscle strength in your feet and minimize the sensitivity of your heel spurs. Another similar method that uses the same group of muscles is picking up marbles with your toes and placing them in a bowl. This requires you to use muscles you don’t normally work and will loosen up any stiffness that has taken hold.
Foot Flex Stretch
You have likely done this stretch before at some point in your life. While sitting on the ground, extend your legs straight in front of you and reach out towards your toes. If you are flexible enough, grab the top of your feet and gently pull them towards you. If you aren’t as nimble as you used to be, start out by doing one foot at a time by extending one leg out with the other bent and tucked towards your middle.
Stretching is Important, But…
Doing these stretches daily will keep you mobile, allowing you to walk and exercise with far less discomfort than before. However, if you want to completely eliminate the problem altogether, you might want to consider getting heel spur surgery. With a minimally invasive surgery, like the kind performed at Northwest Surgery Center, you will be back on your feet in no time, and much better off.