Gentle Stretches to Avoid and Treat Common Foot Injuries

| September 15, 2015 | Reply

by the Infinity Foot & Ankle Team

Most people know that stretching can prevent or minimize many sports-related injuries although stretching also has a place in rehabilitation. Stretching can ease the pain of plantar fasciitis and arch pain while reducing your risk of suffering injury during a run. Here are 7 stretches to support healthy, pain-free feet.

step stretch1. Step Stretch

This stretch is a great way to relieve the pain of plantar fasciitis, or inflammation of the band of tissue connecting your toes to your heel. To perform a step stretch, stand with your toes on a step with your heels hanging off the edge. Carefully lower your heels, hold for 10 seconds, then lift your heels again until they’re level with your toes.

2. Towel Stretch

The towel stretch is an easy exercise to relieve pain on the ball of your foot. Begin by sitting on a hard surface with your leg stretched out. Loop a towel around your toes and the ball of your foot then pull the towel toward you while keeping the leg straight. Hold for 20 seconds then relax your foot.

arch massage3. Arch Massage

When your feet are aching from a long day, try this gentle exercise. Roll a golf ball, frozen juice can, or a tennis ball back and forth from your toes to your heels. Massage your feet for at least two minutes.

4. Standing Soleus Stretch

Start facing a wall with your hands on the wall about chest height. If you have an injured foot or leg, start with that leg back with the hell on the floor. The other leg should be bent forward. Slowly turn your back foot inward, bending your back knee a bit and leaning into the wall until you feel a stretch in your calf. Hold the position for 20 seconds then relax.

5. Balance and Reach Exercise

This exercise can be performed painlessly, even with an injured foot. Stand next to a chair with the injured foot farther away. Stand on the injured foot and bend your knee slightly, using the chair for support if you need it. Raise the arch of your foot while keeping your big toe on the ground. Hold the position then reach forward with the hand farthest away from the chair and bend at your waist while avoiding bending your knee.

6. Toe Stretch

Begin by sitting in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Spread your toes apart as much as you can and hold for 5-10 seconds. Release and repeat ten times.

Foot massage7. Heel Massage

Sit down and extend your left leg with your right foot against your thigh. Bend forward at the waist and hook your left thumb around the pinky toe and your right thumb around your big toe with your fingers around the sole of your foot. Pull your hands back to flex your foot then press your thumbs away from each other, separating your toes. Hold the position and massage your foot for about 30 seconds.

These stretches are often part of a recovery program although it’s important to discuss your care with a podiatrist to avoid aggravating a strain or injury. Some injuries can usually be self-treated with massage and stretches although you may need care from a podiatrist who can recommend stretches that will speed healing without straining your muscles.

Author Bio: With 3 locations in Texas, Infinity Foot & Ankle offers the best in podiatry procedures using the latest technologies and qualified staff. Led by the experienced Dr. Parul K. Patel, D.P.M., a wide range of comprehensive podiatric care are offered including medical, surgical, diabetic and preventative podiatry.

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