Hesperian Health Guides

Stretching Exercise to Help Your Child Put Her Foot Down Flat


lower leg shown with calf muscle
calf muscles
tight heel cord
The muscles at the back of the lower leg (calf muscles) that hold the foot ‘tiptoe’, are too short and tight.
For this reason the child cannot put her foot flat on the ground.
adult holding child's leg up at the knee while holding heel
With one hand hold up the knee so that it does not bend backward.
Use your arm to hold the foot in position like this. Gently lift but do not force the foot upward.
Push up on the foot.
While you push up on the foot, keep pressing hard on the arch of the foot like this. (This helps prevent a dislocation of the foot — a common complication of stretching exercises.)
Hold the foot like this.Turn heel inward a little.Then pull the heel down hard.

Pull down on the heel and push up on the foot, firmly and steadily while counting slowly to 25. Relax, then do it again. Repeat this exercise 10 to 20 times — in the morning, at noon, and in the evening.

This page was updated:27 May 2020