Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Foot FAQ

Question:

I've heard there's a good stretch that can be done for plantar fasciitis. Can you describe it?

Answer:

You may be referring to a position podiatrists call the Windless mechanism. This static position can also be used to stretch the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is located along the bottom of the foot.

Sitting in a chair, cross your affected leg over your other leg. The painful foot and ankle are resting on the thigh just above your knee. Pull your toes toward the shin. Stop pulling the toes upward when you will feel the stretch, tension, and discomfort or pain.

Hold the stretch for at least 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times. This exercise can be done any time throughout the day. It is especially helpful when done right before getting out of bed or before standing up after sitting for a long time.

There is evidence from one study suggesting that results after eight weeks of stretching in this way are very positive. Patients had less pain and increased function. Improvements were still present when patients were contacted two years later. Benedict F. DiGiovanni, MD, et al. Plantar Fascia-Specific Stretching Exercise Improves Outcomes in Patients with Chronic Plantar Fasciitis. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. August 2006. Vol. 88-A. No. 8. Pp. 1776-1781.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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