Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Does the Plantar Fascia stretch?

Posted by JimB on 7/05/04 at 21:49 (154564)

I have read here that stretching is a recommended therapy for PF. However, I have tried the plantar fascia stretch recommended by my Dr.(pulling back on my toes) and it seems to cause more pain. I also recently read in a paper by Dr. Hartley Milchin (Canada) that the plantar fascia cannot stretch and that by attempting to stretch the fascia it creates more trauma to the fascia at the calcaneal insertion.

Is Dr. Milchin correct? And if so, how does one stretch the gastrocnemius and soleus without putting undue tension on the plantar fascia?

Thanks,
Jim

Re: Does the Plantar Fascia stretch?

Dr. Z on 7/05/04 at 23:54 (154577)

Yes.

You can stretch the intrinic muscles. Use the search engine they should be some good posting about this subject

Re: Does the Plantar Fascia stretch?

Dr. David S. Wander on 7/06/04 at 07:14 (154590)

Dr. Zuckerman answers the question yes, but states you can stretch the intrinsic muscles. The actual answer is no, you can not actually stretch the plantar fascia. As Dr. Zuckerman states, you can stretch the intrinsic and extrinsic foot muscles, which is turn loosens the surrounding soft tissue. Additionally, stretching the Achilles complex and hamstrings also aids in stretching the soft tissue. There is an intimate relationship between the Achilles and plantar fascia, and stretching the Achilles will reduce strain on the plantar fascia. However, as previously stated, you can not actually stretch the plantar fascia.

Re: Does the Plantar Fascia stretch?

Dr. Z on 7/06/04 at 10:00 (154596)

Dr. Wander,

Here is the question I was answering

Is Dr. Milchin correct? You can't stretch the plantar fascia. I am glad that you also realize this.

Re: Does the Plantar Fascia stretch?

JimB on 7/06/04 at 22:23 (154695)

Thank you Dr. Z and Dr. Wander for your answers.

Since I can't stretch the plantar fascia, but need to stretch the Achilles complex, is there a good way to stretch the Achilles complex without also pulling on the plantar fascia? I have noticed that when I do a calf stretch by standing with hands against the wall and feet fack, it feels like in addition to the calf muscle being stretched, I am pulling on the plantar fascia right at the calcaneal insertion point and I'm afraid that I might be hurting or reinjuring that area.

I apologize for asking a dumb question here about proper stretching, but after searching this site I have not been able to find the answer to this question.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer my question.

Jim

Re: Does the Plantar Fascia stretch?

Dr. Z on 7/06/04 at 23:26 (154697)

If you feel the pf stretching you may have your feet spread to far back from the wall. You should only feel a pulling at the calf level. Another
method will be to try the personal foot trainer. Very good method for pf pain relief

Re: Does the Plantar Fascia stretch?

Cyndi on 7/12/04 at 14:42 (155196)

It sure seems like I can feel the stretch in foot when I bend down to get something from the floor.But not when I stretch with the wall.