Do you suffer with foot cramps and ankle pains or weakness? A large percentage of the population suffers with some form of feet or ankle problem causing pain and discomfort. When this gets in the way of your quality of life, preventing you from exercising or working, it’s clear that something must be done. Here at Northwich Foot Clinic, we would always advise to book in for a podiatry session, however if you haven’t tried at home exercises, now is your chance to try out these best exercises for foot and ankle care.
7 Best Exercises For Foot And Ankle Care…
Before you begin exercising your feet and ankles, make sure to lightly warm up beforehand. A short walk around the house will suffice, allowing you to warm your blood and prevent pain when exercising.
Achilles Tendon And Plantar Fascia Stretch…
The Achilles Tendon and the Plantar Fascia can be some of the most painful areas on the feet. By stretching them out gently, you can help to alleviate pain and keep them flexible and healthy. To correctly stretch these out, hold your knee straight, wrap a towel around the ball of your foot and pull towards your body for 30 seconds. Once complete, switch to the other foot and repeat.
Big Toe Lift…
Simple, yet effective, the big toe lift and hold is one of the easiest foot and ankle care exercises. Whilst holding your feet flat on the floor, lift your big toe in the air and hold for a few seconds before relaxing and repeating 5 times. This is a safe way to improve your flexibility, whilst helping to eradicate pain.
To help improve your ankle strength, you can do easy ankle pumps whilst sitting down. Just take your foot off the floor and point your toes as if you are trying to touch your shin with them. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds with constant tension before repeating on the other foot. Once repeated 5 times with each foot, you can point your toes down towards the floor as much as possible and hold the stretch again for 30 seconds, then repeating again as necessary.
Seated Foot And Heel Raise…
Start sitting down with your feet flat on the floor and gently lift your heels from the ground, holding for a few seconds. Lower your heels back down to the ground, then raise up your toes. You can repeat this five times to help increase foot strength and flexibility whilst relieving pain.
Another great exercise you can do whilst sitting down is the towel pick-up. Place a towel on the floor in front of your chair, keep your heel on the floor and attempt to pick up the towel with your toes. Repeat this up to 20 times as necessary and to make this exercise more intense, you can add a weight to the end of the towel such as a tin of food.
To complete a toe raise, start by standing up, then stand on your tiptoes as high as you can go without pain. Hold this position for 10 seconds, release and repeat. As you get stronger, you can make this exercise last longer by holding yourself up for 30 seconds rather than 10. You can even work your way towards single toe raises, where you would balance on one foot rather than two for increased strength.
Ice Bottle Massage
Perfect for cooling down, you can take a bottle of frozen water and place it on the floor. Gently roll your foot over the side of the bottle massaging the arch of your foot for 5 minutes, 3 times per day and do not stop to let the bottle sit still, keep your feet moving. Caution – if you feel pain or a prickly sensation, stop this exercise immediately and ensure to seek help.
If you have tried these exercises and are still experiencing pain or discomfort, please visit either your GP or a professional podiatrist. You can book in with our podiatrist here.