Stretching large muscles like the hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves seems like a no brainer to us when we are preparing to participate in activities like soccer, tennis, or dance. However, because they are so important in supporting our body weight, the feet and toes should not be neglected. If they are not cared for, they are prone to deformities such as bunions or hammertoe, and can be a source of pain in the form of cramps or plantar fasciitis.
Fortunately, foot and toe stretches are so simple that they can be done at the kitchen table, on the couch, or at your desk! Here are some easy stretches that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help keep your feet healthy:
- Toe pick-up: Spread some small objects around on the floor near your left foot (marbles, Legos, or board game pieces work well!) With your right toes, pick up the objects one at a time and move them to your right. Repeat in the opposite direction with your other foot.
- Tennis ball roll: Place a tennis ball on the ground and roll it under your foot, starting at the forefoot, working down the arch, and finishing under the heel. Add as much pressure as you can tolerate, with emphasis on the sorer areas.
- Toe point and curl: While seated, apply weight to your forefoot and your toes, as if you were standing on your tippy-toes, and hold this position for 5 seconds. Next, curl your toes in the opposite direction, as if you were trying to press the top of your foot to the ground, and hold this for 5 seconds as well.
- Foot push and pull: Rest one of your ankles on the opposite knee. Grab your toes and pull them away from your shin, forming a flat foot, and hold. Next, push your foot up towards your shin and hold.
Taking a few minutes out of each day to stretch your feet and toes could end up being the solution to some of your peskiest foot problems. For those issues that might need a professional opinion, Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico of Syracuse Podiatry can surely help. A board-certified podiatrist, Dr. D’Amico has experience treating patients of all ages with conditions such as arthritis, sports injuries, and heel pain, and he can recommend tips for diabetic foot care. Dr. D’Amico can even perform reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, so no one in Central New York should have to put up with lingering injuries any longer. To schedule an appointment, please call our Fayetteville office at (315) 446-3668 or contact us through our website!