Arch Pain: Exercises

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Your Care Instructions

Here are some examples of typical rehabilitation exercises for your condition. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off the exercise if you start to have pain.

Your doctor or physiotherapist will tell you when you can start these exercises and which ones will work best for you.

How to do the exercises

Plantar fascia stretch

Picture of how to do plantar fascia stretch
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slide 1 of 8, Plantar fascia stretch,
  1. Sit in a chair and put your affected foot on your other knee.
  2. Hold the heel of your foot in one hand, and grasp your toes with the other hand.
  3. Pull on your heel (toward your body), and at the same time pull your toes back with your other hand.
  4. You should feel a stretch along the bottom of your foot.
  5. Hold 15 to 30 seconds.
  6. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Plantar fascia stretch (kneeling)

Picture of how to do plantar fascia stretch while kneeling
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slide 2 of 8, Plantar fascia stretch (kneeling),

Note: You may want to place a pillow under your knees for this exercise.

  1. Get on your hands and knees on the floor. Keep your heels pointing up and the balls of your feet and your toes on the floor.
  2. Slowly sit back toward your ankles.
  3. If this is too hard, you can try doing it one leg at a time. Stand up, and then kneel on one knee and keep the other leg forward. Place the foot of your forward leg flat on the ground and bend that knee. The heel on the leg still behind you should point up. The ball and toes of that foot should be on the floor. Sit back toward that ankle.
  4. Hold 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times. Switch legs if you are doing this one leg at a time.

Plantar fascia self-massage

Picture of how to do plantar fascia self-massage
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slide 3 of 8, Plantar fascia self-massage,
  1. Sit in a chair.
  2. Place your affected foot on a firm, tube-shaped object, such as a can or water bottle.
  3. Roll your foot back and forth over the object to massage the bottom of your foot.
  4. If you want to do ice massage, fill a water bottle about three-fourths of the way full and freeze before using.
  5. Continue for 2 to 5 minutes.

Bilateral calf stretch (knees straight)

Picture of how to do bilateral calf stretch while standing
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slide 4 of 8, Bilateral calf stretch (knees straight),
  1. Place a book on the floor 8 to 10 centimetres from a wall or countertop, and put the balls of your feet on it. Your heels should be on the floor. The book needs to be thick enough so that you can feel a gentle stretch in each calf. If you are not steady on your feet, hold on to a chair, counter, or wall while you do this stretch.
  2. Keep your knees straight, and lean forward until you feel a stretch in each calf.
  3. To get more stretch, add another book or use a thicker book, such as a phone book, a dictionary, or an encyclopedia.
  4. Hold the stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Bilateral calf stretch (knees bent)

Picture of how to do bilateral calf stretch with knees bent
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slide 5 of 8, Bilateral calf stretch (knees bent),
  1. Place a book on the floor 8 to 10 centimetres from a wall or countertop, and put the balls of your feet on it. Your heels should be on the floor. The book needs to be thick enough so that you can feel a gentle stretch in each calf. If you are not steady on your feet, hold on to a chair, counter, or wall while you do this stretch.
  2. Bend your knees, and lean forward until you feel a stretch in each calf.
  3. To get more stretch, add another book or use a thicker book, such as a phone book, a dictionary, or an encyclopedia.
  4. Hold the stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Marble pick-ups

Picture of how to do marble pick-up exercise
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slide 6 of 8, Marble pick-ups,
  1. Put some marbles on the floor next to a cup.
  2. Sit down, and use the toes of your affected foot to lift up one marble from the floor at a time. Then try to put the marble in the cup.
  3. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Towel scrunches

Picture of how to do towel scrunches
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slide 7 of 8, Towel scrunches,
  1. Sit down, and place your affected foot on a towel on the floor. You may also do this with both feet on the towel.
  2. Scrunch the towel toward you with your toes. Then use your toes to push the towel back into place.
  3. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Heel raises on a step

Picture of how to do heel raises on a step
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slide 8 of 8, Heel raises on a step,
  1. Stand on the bottom step of a staircase, facing up toward the stairs. Put the balls of your feet on the step. If you are not steady on your feet, hold on to the banister or wall.
  2. Keeping both knees straight, slowly lift your heels above the step so that you are standing on your toes. Then slowly lower your heels below the step and toward the floor.
  3. Return to the starting position, with your feet even with the step.
  4. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

Enter H119 in the search box to learn more about "Arch Pain: Exercises."

Current as of: May 23, 2016