We have all heard that stretching is important before and after exercise, but many people tend to focus on the larger muscles of the body and forget about the feet and ankles. Your feet and ankles, however, serve the essential role of supporting and balancing your body especially during athletic exercise and need proper warming up and stretching to prevent injuries. The following are easy foot and ankle stretches you can do even at home.
- While sitting, stretch your toes outward and hold for 10 seconds. Relax and repeat 10 times.
- Sit on a chair with one leg across the other leg’s knee. Pull toes back to feel a stretch in the arch area. Hold for 30 seconds.
- Slowly roll a golf ball, tennis ball, or frozen water bottle back and forth under the arch area.
- Face a wall and place hands in front, with one leg forward and the other slightly behind. Bend the knees until you feel a stretch in the back leg. Hold for 30 seconds. You can also do this with a bent back leg.
- Stand on the edge of a step and lower heels slowly. Hold for 15 seconds before returning heels to straight position.
- While sitting with legs straight out in front, wrap a towel behind the toes and pull back ends with arms to feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds.
Regular stretching exercises, as well as wearing proper shoes and custom orthotics can help prevent many foot and ankle problems, but sometimes injuries can occur from accidents or overuse. If you feel discomfort or pain, it is important to have experienced podiatrists diagnose and treat your problem. At Your Next Step, Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen are a team of skilled board-certified or qualified podiatrists who have treated patients all over the greater Philadelphia area. They treat all types of podiatric conditions including plantar fasciitis, diabetic foot problems, toe deformities, and fungal infections. Please contact us and call our offices located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown to schedule an appointment!