The pain in the feet can result from various causes, and it can furthermore lead to discomfort and pain in the knees, hips, ankles, and even the neck. Therefore, it is essential to take care of the feet on time, especially if you already feel them tight or painful.
Researchers have found that walking is one of the best ways to stretch the feet since as we take a step, the foot completes a full range of motion. Namely, the heel makes contact with the ground causing the foot to elevate with the toes.
Additionally, flexibility and resistance exercises successfully strengthen the foot and provide numerous benefits for the general health of the body. If practiced regularly, stretches strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the foot and may help to provide optimum support for the entire foot.
An experienced podiatrist will always suggest a set of helpful stretching exercises to help you and relieve your feet issues. Some of the most effective stretches include lifting one leg while sitting in a chair, rotating the ankle a few times, and then changing directions.
You should also step back on one foot while standing, and slowly elevate the heel to stretch it, in order to strengthen the sole of the feet.
Moreover, stretching the feet is an excellent way to prevent injuries.
The following soothing exercises boost circulation to the feet and flush them out with freshly oxygenated blood to eliminate toxins and excess water. They also improve the flexibility of the ankles and toes and release the tightness in the fascia of the foot.
For best results, practice these stretching exercises on a daily basis:
1. Standing Toe Stretch | 20 sec
Standing on a mat, raise the right foot, flex the toes back, and then place the ball of your foot down onto the mat. Press gently, and hold for 20 seconds.
2. Kneeling Ankle Stretch | 20 sec
Start by kneeling on the hands and knees in a tabletop position. Bring the legs together, sit the hips back on the heels. Raise the chest and place the hands on the floor behind you. Next, lean back into your palms to feel a stretch, and hold for 20 seconds.
3. Toe Squat | 20 sec
Stand forward fold with your feet together. Tent the fingertips on the floor in front of you, elevate the heels, bend the knees, and lower the hips to your heels. Hold for 20 seconds.
4. Point and Flex | 10 reps each direction
Sit on the floor with the legs straight out in front of you, point the feet and toes down, and then flex both feet and toes back towards the shins.
5. Foot Prayer | 10 reps
Start with the legs straight out in front of you, flex the feet, spread the toes as wide as you can, separate them, and hold for a count of 3. Relax them.
7. Toe Scrunch and Spread | 5 reps
Sitting on the floor with the legs straight out in front of you, scrunch up your toes, hold for a count of 3, stretch them wide, and hold for 3 more counts.
8. Inner Ankle Stretch | 10 reps
Start in a sitting position, with the legs straight out in front of you with the feet flexed. Rotate the feet outward, hold for a few seconds, and release, turning the soles of the feet forward again.
9. Toe Curls | 5 reps
Start in a sitting position, with the legs straight out in front of you, and the feet relaxed. Scrunch up the toes, hold for a count of 3, and release.
10. Standing Toe Curl | 20 sec
Stand, pick up the right foot, curl the toes, and place the tops of the toes onto the mat. Press gently and hold for 20 seconds.