Everyday Stretches for Better Foot and Ankle Health
Have you been experiencing foot and ankle soreness? Well, most people experience pain and discomfort at some point. It may be due to rigorous foot exercise, walks, or straining the feet.
While many people might rush to the hospital when in pain, it is essential to know that simple stretches can help the feet get stronger, better, and more flexible. But what is the right way to stretch? Read on to discover!
How Everyday Stretches for Better Foot and Ankle Health Can Help
Stretching your body is a perfect exercise to engage all of you. This explains why fitness instructors and workout enthusiasts emphasize stretching before and after major exercises. Here are a few ways how stretching daily can enhance your feet.
Improves Blood Circulation
The feet play a vital role in blood circulation. This is because there are two major arteries supplying blood. One goes through the back of the leg to supply the bottom side of the feet and toes, while the other is at the front to supply the top side.
When the circulation is right at the feet, you can comfortably walk around and enhance your body’s stability. It is that easy.
We all know that the feet are the body’s support system. When these two are not in pain or discomfort, you get to stand better, gaining a good posture. Healthy feet also keep you limber hence preventing falls and instability.
Boosts Your Mood
Who doesn’t love being healthy and pain-free? When you are unwell, you are often sad and moody. This hugely affects your productivity and life at large. With your healthy feet and body, your moods are right, and you can seize the day!
Decreases the Risk of Injury
Improper care for the feet and ankles may cause pain and inflammation. This makes your feet more susceptible to foot issues such as Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis. By stretching the feet and ankles, they gain more strength, enhance joint mobility and ward off any problems.
The Best Techniques for Stretching
Keeping your ankles and feet healthy is your best bet for staying healthy and active. Let’s look at some of the best stretch techniques.
1. Ankle Circles
As the name suggests, this technique involves making circles with your ankles. It is flexible and can accommodate both lying and sitting positions.
Begin by turning your ankle around in circles to the left and then to the right. Repeat these motions keeping the movements minimal and focusing on the foot and ankle. Two sets of this on each foot should be enough to alleviate the pain.
2. Toe Stretches
Toe stretches are an effective and simplistic way to stretch your toe joints and muscles. While you can do all the toes at the same time or get at them one by one.
Hold each toe and gently pull outwards, move to the right and left sides, and up and down. Proceed to move your feet all around as you apply pressure as far as comfortably possible. The trick is holding the movements for a few seconds.
3. Foot Pulls
When looking to improve plantar flexion at your ankle joint, foot pulls are perfect for you as they focus on your feet and ankles.
Start by sitting (with your back straight up) with your feet stretched and crossed over. Hold the middle of your foot sole and gradually pull the food to stretch the ankle.
To maximize the exercise, hold the movement for at least five seconds for both feet. As with other exercises, you must listen to your body and know when to pause and get some rest.
4. Achilles Stretch
The Achilles stretch is much similar to a calf stretch. It is more vigorous and engages the whole leg.
You start by standing by a support platform such as a wall or chair and fixing your hands at eye level. Proceed to put your left leg one step behind your right one with your left heel on the floor.
To stretch your Achilles tendon, bend your back knee while holding the stretch for at least fifteen seconds. Alternate the legs and repeat two times.
5. Heel Sit Backs
Heel sit backs are perfect stretches for the entire body as they improve your posture, plantar flexion, and ankle flexibility.
Begin in a kneeling position with your toes pointed backward. Gently sit back on your heels until the ankle stretches towards the front.
Depending on your weight and comfort, you can hold the movement for ten to fifteen seconds.
6. Towel Stretch
The towel stretch is pretty easy. You start by sitting on a flat surface, preferably the floor. Wrap a small towel around your toes on both feet and slightly pull until you feel a stretch at the bottom.
Since the feet are held together, you can hold them for twenty to thirty seconds and repeat thrice. To deepen the stretch, you can use a band or strap in place of the towel.
7. Heel Slides
When looking for beginner-friendly foot and ankle stretches, heel slides are your best option. Besides being easy and providing pain relief, they also improve your mobility.
Start by sitting on a chair with your heel on the floor and your toes pointing forward. Proceed to slide the heel backward and hold for three seconds while maintaining a flat foot.
For easier movement and comfort, use a tray or bag under your foot to make the stretches easier.
Contact Us for Better Foot and Ankle Health!
Having trouble with the stretches? Our team of podiatrists is ready to assist you with your stretching and any foot issues you may have. To make an appointment, simply contact us by calling (814) 472-2660 or by filling out our online contact form. We have offices in Ebensburg and Johnstown with experts ready to assist you. Don’t let your foot or ankle pain hold you back anymore, but get them treated instead.