Foot or ankle pain can be due to many things such as sprains, tendonitis, or bone spurs. A recent study by the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) revealed 77% of Americans experience foot pain, but only 1/3 seek expert care. Below are some basic exercises to try daily to help you increase strength, mobility, and balance in your feet to help build a strong foundation. If you have increased symptoms or do not have relief, don’t hesitate to seek a Physical Therapy evaluation to achieve a future without limits!
Toe “yoga” – Good for plantar fasciitis
Helps strengthen foot intrinsics and toe extensors.
Sit in a chair with foot flat on floor. Try to isolate extending each toe individually or only a couple at a time to work to develop strength and coordination of the small muscles in your feet. Perform 15 on each toe.
Arch lifts – Good for plantar fasciitis
Helps strengthen foot intrinsics.
Sit or stand with feet flat on floor. Press toes into floor (without curling) and lift the arch of your foot. Make sure to keep toes on the ground. Perform 20 times.
Ankle ABC’s – Good for lateral ankle sprain prevention or rehabilitation
Helps improve ankle mobility.
Sit in chair. Move your ankle to trace the alphabet with your foot in the air. This gets activation in all the muscles around your ankle. Perform on each side.
Tandem balance – Good for lateral ankle sprain prevention or rehabilitation
Helps improve stability around ankle.
Stand at kitchen counter to hold on as needed. With one foot in front of the other, try to let go and maintain standing. To make it less challenging, take a wider stance with feet further apart. Increase difficulty by standing on soft surface, close your eyes, or transition to single leg balance. Perform 3 times on each side, for as long as you can hold this position.
Toe spread/squeeze – Good for metatarsal pain
Helps strengthen abductors and adductors.
Stand or sit. Try to spread toes apart then squeeze toes together. Perform 20 times.
Heel raises – Good for Achilles tendonitis plantar fasciitis
Helps strengthen gastrocnemius.
Stand at a counter top or chair for support. Lift your heels off the floor and transfer weight onto ball of foot. Keep your toes down and be careful not to let the ankles roll out. Slowly lower back down. Progress to doing without support and on single leg. Perform 15-20 times.
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Got questions? Feel limited in what you’re able to do? The staff at Limitless Physical Therapy in Eugene, OR can show you how to be limitless. Contact us to connect with on of our PTs. Or follow us on Facebook.