People who regularly stretch their feet and toes are more likely aware of the many benefits that may accompany these movements. These may include increased blood flow into the feet, the muscles in the sole of the feet being properly stretched, and possibly helping to balance flat feet or fallen arches. Many people may discover moderate relief from the tired sensation that is often felt in the ankles and feet, in addition to any swelling that may be present. Flexibility is generally improved as a result of improved strength. There are effective foot and toe stretches that can be performed, including pointing and flexing the toes in one direction multiple times, then repeating in the other direction. Please consult with a podiatrist if you would like additional information about the benefits of stretching the feet and toes.
Stretching the feet is a great way to prevent injuries. If you have any concerns with your feet consult with Dr. John Hoy from Seattle Foot and Ankle Center. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
Stretching the Feet
Stretching the muscles in the foot is an important part in any physical activity. Feet that are tight can lead to less flexibility and make you more prone to injury. One of the most common forms of foot pain, plantar fasciitis, can be stretched out to help ease the pain. Stretching can not only ease pain from plantar fasciitis but also prevent it as well. However, it is important to see a podiatrist first if stretching is right for you. Podiatrists can also recommend other ways to stretch your feet. Once you know whether stretching is right for you, here are some excellent stretches you can do.
- Using a foam roller or any cylindrical object (a water bottle or soda can will do), roll the object under your foot back and forth. You should also exert pressure on the object. Be sure to do this to both feet for a minute. Do this exercise three times each.
- Similar to the previous one, take a ball, such as a tennis ball, and roll it under your foot while seated and exert pressure on it.
- Grab a resistance band or towel and take a seat. If you are using a towel, fold it length wise. Next put either one between the ball of your foot and heel and pull with both hands on each side towards you. Hold this for 15 seconds and then switch feet. Do this three times for each foot.
- Finally hold your big toe while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe towards you and hold for 15 seconds. Once again do this three times per foot.
It is best to go easy when first stretching your foot and work your way up. If your foot starts hurting, stop exercising and ice and rest the foot. It is advised to then see a podiatrist for help.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Seattle, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.
How to Stretch Your Feet
Your feet endure a great amount of stress each day from constantly allowing us to move around. It is important to stretch your feet to help prevent them from becoming injured. Your toes may easily deform into unhealthful positions if they are not stretched.
One of the most common reasons for toe deformities are the shoes you may be wearing. Shoes that are too tight may fold and shift the toes out of place. Heeled shoes may also push your toes upward. Forcing your toes into an unnatural position which may cause the muscles to tighten and prevent them from reverting to normal length. Another common reason is improper use of foot muscles. Many people fail to use the muscles in their feet or toes when they walk. Lastly, the positioning of your feet while walking may also cause toe deformities. If you walk with your feet facing outward, your “push-off” phase is on the side of your big toe instead of the bottom of your foot. This may cause the big toe to eventually tighten into a new shifted position.
There are many reasons why stretching your toes may be helpful. One reason is that healthy spacing may aid in avoiding calluses and other injuries that are caused by rubbing. Stretching will also prevent you from developing toes that curl, hammertoes, or bunions.
A great way to stretch your toes is to place them in your hands and bend them all downward; this will help you stretch the top of your foot. Next, you should repeat this process but instead bend them upward enough to feel a nice stretch in the bottom of your foot. You should then try to pull each toe apart from the next and pull any toes that are bent upward until they are back downward.
If you are looking to practice stretching your entire foot, you can try a towel stretch. This is done by sitting on the floor with your legs in front of you. Take a towel and wrap it around your toes. Afterward, pull the towel toward you with your toes and hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds before releasing. Practice this stretch for three sets. Another stretch your feet are towel lifts. This is done by sitting in a chair and trying to pick a towel up from the ground with your toes. Try lifting the towel with your little toes for five sets before switching feet.
If you are an athlete, or exercise often, it is especially important for you to practice stretching your feet. Those who suffer from foot pain caused by poor footwear, plantar fasciitis, or long hours of standing at work may also benefit from foot exercises.