Simple self-treatment for plantar fasciitis ~ Strain-Counterstrain

January 17, 2010

This is a simple and effective self-treatment technique for plantar fasciitis.  The usual predictor of outcome with a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is months of pain and limitations and the usual treatment usually involves stretching, rest, ice, massage and night splints.  I’ve found these treatments minimally helpful at best.

What I have found is that getting a client to use this simple strain-counterstrain technique a few times per day can clear the condition sometimes with a few reps of this positional release technique.  Please let me know what it does for you.

Ralph Havens, PT, OCS, IMT C



Here’s the technique:

Sit on your couch where you can be in a relaxed position with your affected leg up on the couch so you can reach your foot with both hands. Then, place the same side hand ( right hand for right foot) so that the index finger and thumb cradle the back of the heel bone. The opposite hand (left hand for right side foot) index and thumb cradles the top of the foot. Now the shortening part. Gently and I mean gentle, push the two hands together so that the bottom of your foot is shortened or placed on slack. Hold this position with your leg totally relaxed; this is important because you’re turning down a nerve feedback loop so you don’t want any tensing of the muscles in your foot or leg. Hold it there for 3 minutes without moving your hands or foot. Just letting it stay in this position. Let Go gently and repeat this a few times per day. Each time you do this you can test your foot by walking and see what differences you notice. Let me know how it changes things for you.


Ralph Havens PT OCS IMTC




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