Whether or not you currently experience heel pain, taking the best possible care of your feet is essential.
If your feet are healthy and happy now, the best way to keep them that way is to perform exercises to ensure the muscles are strong and offer the proper support.
If you have successfully healed your foot pain, continuing the stretches and tips recommended here will help you keep the pain away for good.
Why is it important to stretch my feet?
Your feet are complex structures in your body. You may look at them and think, "heel, arch, toes; what more is there?" But your feet contain multiple different joints, ligaments, and nearly one-quarter of all the bones within your entire body. Those are a lot of structures, and those various structures leave room for a great deal of instability and ultimately pain or discomfort.
Beyond that, your feet bear the weight of your whole body. Your feet are being used every time you stand, walk, run, dance, or work out. The pressure on them is immense. If you're an athlete, this pressure is increased even more.
Foot Stretches To Prevent and Heal Your Foot Pain
Hold each stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds to get the most out of these stretching exercises. Don't bounce while you stretch. Just relax and breathe freely. Also, you should not push through any severe pain or discomfort. Don't contort yourself into an uncomfortable position. Find what feels good, and use these tips and images as your guide.
Plantar Fascial Stretch: The Towel
Sit with your legs extended and your knees straight. Position a rolled towel so that it goes around the ball of your foot. Hold the howel in each hand with your hands positioned above your knee, as pictured above. Gently pull back with the towel so that your foot stretches toward you. Hold the position for at least 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times per session, up to 5 sessions a day.
Standing Calf Stretch
Place your hands on a wall for balance. Step back with your left leg. Keep the leg straight, and press your left heel into the floor. Press your hips forward, bending your right leg slightly. You will feel the stretch in your left calf. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat on the right leg. Perform this stretch 2 to 4 times a day for each leg.
Stair or Curb Stretch
Stand with the balls of both feet on the edge of a stair or curb with at least one hand holding onto a banister or handrail for balance. Keeping your affected leg straight, slowly let that heel hang down off of the stair or curb until you feel a stretch in the back of your calf and Achilles area. Some of your weight should still be on the other leg. Hold this position for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times a session, up to 5 times a day, or whenever your Achilles tendon starts to feel tight.
Stretching with a Foot Roller
Place your foot roller on the ground and, with bare feet or just socks, gently place the sole of your foot on the roller. Offer a little pressure as you roll the foot on the roller, back and forth. The Theraband foot roller, available for purchase in our office, can go in the freezer to offer an icing effect and optimized stretching. Repeat this for up to one minute every day as needed.
Professional Foot & Ankle Care for Saginaw, Midland, Bay City, & Beyond!
Tips like those listed above are crucial to getting rid of heel pain and keeping it away. Visiting a local podiatrist can provide knowledge and even more information to keep your feet healthy. Our team loves when you walk out of the office with no pain and an organized treatment plan to ensure you stay that way. Contact us today and see what a difference our compassionate approach to podiatry can make in your life. Call us at 989-695-6788 to schedule an appointment today!