Everything in the body is connected, so when one thing hurts, it often leads to pain somewhere else. Pain that starts in the foot can travel all the way up the leg. There are many causes for foot pain, including arthritis, bunions, athlete’s foot, corns and ingrown toenails.
There are several ways to ease foot pain, but many find stretching to be surprisingly helpful. It’s easy to do, it can help to relieve discomfort, and may help keep the pain from spreading to other parts of the body. Here are six effective stretches to help ease foot pain:
1. Toe Raise
Stand up and try to lift all of your toes upward. You might find that this stretch is harder than it sounds! Your pinky toe should rise the same way and at the same height as your big toe. Do this five times for each foot.
2. Rock Out
While standing, rock your weight to the outside of your foot, lifting your weight off of the inside of your foot. Next, rock inward until your weight is resting on the inside of your foot. Practice this move on both feet at the same time, and do each side 10 times.
3. Toe Lift
While you’re in the toe raise position, try to lower only your big toe. Keep the other toes raised. This can be tricky, but think of it like doing crossword puzzles to help keep your mind sharp. Stretching your toes can help keep your feet strong and balanced. If you can press your big toe down, next, try pressing just your pinky toe down. Alternate and do five for each toe on each foot.
4. Ankle Stretch
Loop a stretchy exercise band around a chair or table leg. Hook your foot through it, so that the ball of your foot is resting against the band. Press your toes toward the ground so that you feel the stretch. Repeat this move 15 times.
5. Toes and Fingers
Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you, with your toes pointing up toward the ceiling. Lean forward and lace your fingers with your toes, then gently pull back. If practicing this move on both feet is too tricky, try doing one foot at a time.
6. Tennis Ball Rub
Place a tennis ball on the ground and roll it under your foot. Apply gentle pressure and practice this move on both feet. When you’re done, tilt your foot so that your toes are pointing toward your knee, then stretch your toes out so they point directly down, and feel the stretch.
These exercises might seem silly, but if you suffer from foot pain from time to time, they might prove to be beneficial! Stretching your toes and feet will improve flexibility, get your blood flowing and help to reduce the chance of injury. For strong, healthy and flexible feet, add these six moves to your daily routine!