Simple Exercises for Heel Spurs

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While heel spurs may not seem like much on their own, these bony growths at the bottom of your foot can intensify pain when paired with other conditions like plantar fasciitis. Here we cover a few exercises and tips to help combat foot pain associated with heel spurs.

Heel Spurs and Foot Pain

Heel spurs are calcium deposits that form on the bottom of the heel bone. Although these spurs are usually painless by themselves, they can often cause or worsen the symptoms of other foot conditions. Some injuries commonly associated with heel spurs are Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.

These injuries often develop from overuse and inflammation, causing severe heel pain. If left untreated, these injuries can take months to heal, hindering your ability to walk or run.

Exercises for Heel Spurs

For our feet, mobility and strength are essential to keep us moving pain free. The goal of these exercises is to strengthen the muscles in the feet and calves while improving flexibility in the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia.

*Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling, or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.

Heel Ups

Heel Ups 1Heel Ups 2

  • In a standing position with the feet close together, place a tennis ball in between the heels and maintain the position of the ball by squeezing the heels together.
  • In a controlled motion, raise up on the toes and then return to start position.
  • Complete 2 sets of 10 repetitions twice a day.

Standing Calf Stretch

  • Stand facing a wall and place your foot up against the wall.
  • With your knee bent, lean forward until you feel a stretch in the calf closest to the wall and hold the position.
  • Complete 2 sets of up to 60-second holds twice a day.

Standing Gastroc Stretch


  • Stand and place both hands on a wall.
  • Place one leg behind the other, slightly staggered, and lean your body forward without bending the back knee until you feel a stretch in your back calf.
  • Remember to keep correct arch position in your foot and keep the heel on the ground.
  • Ensure both feet are facing forward.
  • Complete 2 sets of up to 60-second holds twice a day.

Plantar Fascia Release

  • Sit in a chair to help control the pressure put on your feet.
  • Take a lacrosse ball and place it under your affected foot.
  • Apply downward pressure on the lacrosse ball with the foot.
  • Stay off the heel & ball of the foot, keeping the ball inside the foot.
  • Move the ball under your foot to find tender spots.
  • Once you are on a tender spot, hold the position while applying pressure.
  • Continue to massage for up to 30 seconds.

Foot Pain Prevention Tips

Wear the right shoes. Good foot health starts with proper footwear. Shoes that fit correctly and offer proper support can help protect your feet from injuries, especially when doing strenuous activities like running or hiking. Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes and flip-flops. These types of shoes won’t give enough arch support, put too much stress on your heels, and often cause falls.

Try foam rolling. Taking a minute or two to roll out tense muscle groups can help your body feel better. Not only can foam rolling loosen up tight muscles, but it’s also a great warm up activity to get your body moving and keep it flexible. If you’re struggling with heel pain, try rolling out your calves for a few minutes to loosen those muscles and reduce any built-up tension.

Pace yourself. If you’ve recently recovered from an injury, don’t just jump back into your favorite activities expecting to perform better than before. Even if you’re feeling good, your body may still need time to adjust to new activity levels. Start slow and stay cautious. Start off with a quick jog if you were used to running marathons before the injury. Gradually work yourself up to a faster pace and take time to rest if your symptoms reappear.

When Pain is Afoot, Call Airrosti

We hope the exercises and tips above were helpful. If you’re still struggling with movement and ready to give your heel pain the boot, Schedule an appointment with us at (800) 404-6050. Our providers will work to diagnose the root cause of your pain and treat injuries at the source for lasting relief.

We offer remote telehealth appointments in addition to in-office visits. Call us at (800) 404-6050 or click here to learn more and schedule your appointment today.

View our Medical Disclaimer here.

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