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Are your feet still bothering you? After countless tries with other treatments, you might want to go back to the basics. When treating plantar fasciitis, you can’t go wrong with manual therapy for your aches and pains. 

In previous articles, we’ve covered the core topics regarding plantar fasciitis like what it is and how to treat it. For today’s intalment, we’ll further explore the section about manual therapy. Let’s start with what manual therapy is all about.

What is Manual Therapy?

Manual therapy, when done correctly, is one of the best hands-on treatments you can do for plantar fasciitis. With the right tools, you can even do it by yourself in the comfort of your home. This treatment option for plantar fasciitis consists of stretches and strengthening exercises for your feet.

Manual Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Take note that the following stretches and exercises won’t work for everyone. Do check out each of them and see which one works for you. With that out of the way, here below are the exercises and strengthening exercises you should start with:


Stretches involve a lot of easy movements. With each stretching motion, you loosen your plantar fascia. This helps with avoiding potential ligament tears. It also greatly stresses the ligament itself, reducing inflammation in the process.

Wall-facing Calf Stretches

  • A straight wall
  1. Face the wall. 
  2. Lean onto the wall at arm’s length. 
  3. Place one foot about a step farther from the other. Both feet should be flat on the floor and legs should be straight. 
  4. Position your hands flat on the wall as well. 
  5. Slowly, bend your front leg. 
  6. Hold the position for 10-30 seconds at a time before stretching back. 
  7. Switch the places of your feet and repeat steps 5-6. 
  8. Do this 2-4 times per leg for one set. 
  9. You can do one set a day.

Curb Stair Stretches

  • A staircase or a step
  1. Stand on the first step closest to the ground with the balls of your feet dangling over the edge. 
  2. Gently drop your heels just underneath the level of the step. 
  3. Hold onto the bannister while you let your heels hang from the edge. 
  4. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds. 
  5. Bring your heels back up. 
  6. Repeat steps 2-5. 
  7. Do this 2-10 more times for one set. 
  8. You can do two sets a day.

Slant or Incline Board Stretches

  1. Stand up on the incline board with both of your feet. Your toes should be higher than heels on the board. 
  2. Slightly bend your knees. 
  3. Hold this position for one minute.
  4. Repeat steps 3-4
  5. Do this 5 times for one set. 
  6. You can do one set a day. 

Rolling Stretches

  • A rollable object, like a foam roller, a tennis ball, a frozen plastic water bottle, or an ice-cold can
  • A chair
  1. Sit down on a chair. Keep your knees bent, your feet flat,  and your back straight. 
  2. Put the rollable object (bottle, ball, or foam roller) on the floor in front of your feet. 
  3. Place the ball of your foot over the object
  4. Gently use the bottom of your foot to roll the object back and forth for one minute.
  5. Switch to your other foot and repeat steps 3-4.
  6. Do this 2 times per foot for one set. 
  7. You can do one set a day.

Stretching the Foot Using a Resistance Band

  1. Be seated on a mat on the floor for this stretch. 
  2. Keep your legs straight.
  3. Hang onto the resistance band, one hand on each end.
  4. Reach out and place the middle of the resistance band behind your toes.
  5. While giving the band a little slack, straighten your back. 
  6. Pull on the band, letting your foot stretch naturally. 
  7. Hold for 15-30 seconds.
  8. Do this 2-4 times for one set. 
  9. You can do five sets a day.

Strengthening Exercises

Proper strengthening exercises, like the ones below, help the plantar fascia become more flexible. It can also further toughen the muscles in and around the ligament, supporting the arch of your foot. In doing so, you can expect better pain relief.

Marble Pickups

  • 20 marbles
  • A cup or a mug
  • A chair
  1. Sit down on a chair. Keep your feet flat on the floor, your back straight, and your knees bent. 
  2. Put all the marbles on the floor in front of you. 
  3. Place the cup near your feet.
  4. Use your feet to pick up a marble by slowly curling your toes.
  5. Carefully drop the marble into the nearby cup.
  6. Repeat steps 4-5.
  7. Do this 20 times for one set. 
  8. You can do one set a day.

Towel Curls

  • A small towel
  • A chair
  • A weighted object, like a soup can (optional)
  1. Sit down on a chair. Keep your back straight, your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. 
  2. Place a small towel in front of your feet. 
  3. Start with one foot. Use your feet to slightly move the towel towards you by curling your toes. 
  4. Push the towel back into place by uncurling your toes. 
  5. Repeat steps 3-4. 
  6. Switch feet and do the steps again. 
  7. For an added optional challenge, place the weighted object on the top of the towel before doing the towel curls. 
  8. Do this 10 times per foot for one set. 
  9. You can do five sets a day.

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