Our feet are the foundation to our bodies. They keep us standing and moving throughout the day. However, when they begin to ache, you will feel it from head to toe — literally. A lot of the foot problems we experience are related to flexibility. If your muscles are really right, they’re not working properly and will shorten, which can lead to pain. Here are three ways to stretch and strengthen your feet to keep the pain away.
The plantar fascia stretch. The plantar fascia is one of the most common areas you will experience foot pain. To stretch, try kneeling and sitting back on your heels with your back straight and your weight on the balls of your feet. Slowly lean backwards while keeping your core engaged, spine straight and body stable. Hold this pose for about 30 seconds and repeat it three times.
The Arch Cross Stretch. When the arch of your foot, or feet, becomes tight, you might experience numbness and pain. To stretch the arches of your feet, place a tennis ball just below your pinkie toe on the pad of your foot. Slowly roll the ball back and forth from your pinkie toe to your big toe. This move helps to mobilize the joints and increase range of motion in the toes, helping relieve tension in the arch. As you move slowly, complete this stretch for five minutes per foot.
The calf stretch. Your calf muscle can become tight from many types of common exercises, such as running, walking, or any workout that involves jumping. To stretch your calf muscle, stand on a step, curb, brick, or anywhere you can drop your heel, lean forward, and hold onto something for support. Place the ball of your foot on the step and then lower your heel while keeping your leg straight, and hold for 30 to 60 seconds. For even better results, alternate the stretch by pointing your toes inward first, and then repeat with your toes pointing outward. You can repeat this on both legs twice each.
If you are experiencing foot pain and these stretches aren’t helping, contact your podiatrist at Family Foot Center today. The experienced podiatrists at our Boynton Beach and Boca Raton offices can help you learn more about the different stretches you can do to improve the health of your feet, and most importantly, minimize pain. You can also click here to schedule your consultation online.