Frequent in runners, the pain in the heel or the sole of the foot, called plantar fasciitis by the experts, can benefit from stretching the plantar fascia twice a day, of which one in the morning is important, when the band is stiffer – explains Dr. Lara Castagnetti, osteopath and specialist in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine at Humanitas. – In general, in addition to runners, those who need to maintain a standing position for long periods of time, are more susceptible to inflammation of the band of tissues extending from the heel to the toes. To be effective, foot stretching should be done every day before getting out of bed and, if possible, 2-3 times during the day; it can be done in a sitting position with crossed legs and by pulling the toes with the hands towards the tibia, or standing upright with the foot resting on a step and pushing the heel down towards the base of the step. However, plantar fasciitis requires up to six months to resolve and often the improvements have a rather slow progression; it is possible, however, to help the healing process by: paying attention not to walk or stand up barefoot; use gel heels or orthopedic insoles to support the arch, which must always be worn on both shoes to avoid discomfort; wear suitable shoes, especially for runners; and, a period of therapy with anti-inflammatory drugs, in cases when doctors prescribe. Last but not least, a specialist doctor may find it necessary to perform one or more cycles with focal shock waves.