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​Exercise for Heel Spurs

23 December 2015

Suffering from Heel Spurs? Hobbling about on heels that don’t want to cooperate? Well, you better get going with our Heel Spur Exercises! You might think rest and relaxation is all you can do to get through a bout of heel pain, but a bit of exercise never hurt anyone, and as your heels are already hurting, a few stretches to get the blood pumping and muscles loosened can actually make them feel better.

Spur-cific Stretches

You may have noticed that your heels hurt first thing in the morning after getting up, this pain isn’t a residual ache from the activity of the day before, it is in fact due to being completely inactive during the night. The muscles become stiff during the night, and until they are “warmed up” again by walking, they will ache slightly more than usual. Try these stretches to get your heels feeling happier so you can take on the day.

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Calf Stretch: You can’t stretch your leg without getting your feet involved too, and a good calf stretch targets you heels perfectly. For this stretch you’ll need to find yourself a wall:

  • Place your arms at full length in front of you so that you’re hands are flat on the wall
  • Make to lunge, with one leg bend and in front of the other
  • Push your hips towards the wall, you should feel the tug in your calf and heel
  • Hold the position for 10 seconds
  • Repeat on the other leg

Plantar Fascia Stretch: Especially good for those also going toe to toe with Plantar Fasciitis, this seemingly simple exercise is highly effective, you’ll be amazed how quickly your muscles will adapt and improve with each repetition of this perfectly simple stretch!

  • Sit down and cross your affected leg over so you can reach your foot
  • Grasp the toes of your foot and slowly pull them towards you
  • The upper part of your foot should be pulled in a controlled and even way
  • Hold the position for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times
  • Best done in the morning before standing or walking

A similar stretch can be performed with a towel and without even needing to stand up! Before you rise from your bed, loop a towel around the top of your foot and tug it up towards you. This pulling motion should be slow and gentle, you should be able to feel the stretch along the bottom of your foot.

Walk Like An Egyptian: Like the first stretch, all you need is a wall. You should end up looking fairly comical but feeling the benefits through both heels and calves!

  • Place both hands in front of you on the wall
  • Make to lunge towards the wall (though not with a particularly wide step out) with one leg bent in front of the other
  • Place your other foot behind the first and mirror the bend
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Switch leg positions and repeat

Dowel You Doing?

Sure, you could go out and throw money at the most high-tech foot massager you can find, to limber you up for all these exercises,  or you could just get yourself a wooden dowel from your local DIY shop. It needs to be long enough to cover the width of your foot, and about as thick as a stick of glue (although finding the perfect size is entirely down to personal preference). 

Place the dowel on the floor behind a chair or table, so long as you have something to safety balance against. Step on to the dowel and roll it up and down your foot. This may hurt quite a bit at first as it is simulating the same pressure placement of a deep tissue massage. After a few rounds of the dowel the pain should lessen.

If you prefer a more professional approach then a sports massage is a great way to get your feet feeling better. Much like the dowel, though, these massages aren’t quite as relaxing as traditional treatments and are made to get muscles invigorated and healed, so don’t be surprised if your massage feels more like a assault on your heels - you’ll definitely feel the benefits in the hours that follow!

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