Stretching is a very important preventative and therapeutic modality. The following stretching exercises will help you strengthen you calf muscles and may eliminate the risk of any associated secondary problems, like heel pain.
1. Step Stretch
Stand and face the stairs with both feet firmly planted on the last step and hold the handrails. Place the ball of one foot at the end of the step and push your heel downward until you feel a nice stretch in your calf. Hold for 10 seconds; then relax and switch to the opposite leg. Repeat this exercise 10 times for each side, 3 times a day.
2. Wall Stretch
Stand at arm’s length from the wall with your back knee locked and your front knee bent. Slowly press forward by bending your arms until a moderate stretch is felt in the calf muscle of your straight leg. Keep both heels on the floor. Hold for 10 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. Repeat this exercise 10 times for each side, 3 times a day.
3. Towel Stretch
Roll a medium size towel lengthwise tightly. Place it around the ball of your foot with your knee straight. Pull the towel with both of your arms using even pressure until a moderate stretch is felt in the back of the calf muscle. Do 10 repetitions with your knee straight, then 10 with your knee bent, alternating legs, 3 times a day.
4. Bottle Stretch
Sit in a chair. Place a can or water bottle on the floor. Roll your foot slowly with even pressure from your heel to the ball of your foot, back and forth. Roll 20 times for each foot, 3 times a day.