Loosen Up: Stretching Out Your Feet
Your feet handle a lot of pressure every day. Tendons, ligaments, and muscles that tighten and become inflamed are painful and can result in conditions like plantar fasciitis. Getting them to relax and stay loose can help relieve that pain and keep it from returning. Much like other limbs that you focus on to prevent injuries, your feet can benefit from simple stretches that target major muscles and connecting tissues.
Relax and Lengthen
Foot stretches not only keep your feet relaxed and ready to handle activity, but also help release tension and relieve pain. The experts at Absolute Foot Care Specialists will evaluate your needs and recommend particular stretches, but many of these motions work well for multiple conditions. For each stretch, hold for 6-8 seconds before releasing. Repeat the movements several times for the first foot, then switch to the other.
Towel Stretch: Sitting on the ground with your feet directly in front of you, hold one end of a towel. Loop the center of it around one foot, then grab the other end with your other hand. Gently pull back on the towel, bringing your foot toward yourself. You should feel the stretch in the back of your leg.
Wall Exercise: Stand a foot away from a wall while facing it. Put your hands on the surface and set one foot back behind you, keeping that leg completely straight. Bend the other knee as you lean toward the wall. You should feel the pull in your calves.
Bent Knee Stretch: Facing the wall again, with one foot still set back behind you, bend both knees so you are in a “sitting” position. From there lean forward against the wall. You should still feel the pull in your calves, though this stretch works slightly different muscles than the wall exercise.
Reverse Calf Raises: Stand on a stair step or stool with your heels hanging off of it. Have something nearby to hold on to for balance. Gently lower your heels until you feel a good stretch in your calves, then hold for a few seconds before raising back to normal.
Plantar Stretch: Sitting in a chair, cross one leg over the other so that one ankle sits on top of your other knee. From there, grasp your toes and gently pull them (but not the whole foot) back toward your shin. You should feel this along the sole of your foot.
Foot Rolls: Take a round object, like a tennis ball, and set it on the ground under your foot. Roll your foot and ankle in all directions over the object, carefully massaging the bottom of your foot.
Build and Condition
As you loosen up your muscles, tendons, and ligaments, performing accompanying exercises to strengthen those tissues will help you avoid injury and maintain your foot’s stability. Exercises that work the toes and balance seem to be especially effective. Picking up small objects with your feet, balancing for extended periods on one foot, and walking around on just your heels or your toes helps condition foot-specific muscles.
Relieving and preventing pain in your feet doesn’t have to be complicated. Many foot stretches and exercises take only a few minutes out of your day. Ignoring the needs of your feet now could mean much worse pain and more involved remedies in the future. If you’re experiencing foot or toe pain or weakness, don’t wait and hope it disappears on its own. Contact Absolute Foot Care Specialists in Las Vegas for an appointment or more information by calling (702) 839- 2010 or by visiting the contact page online. We look forward to helping you take the first step toward ending your foot pain now!