We are constantly applying stress to our feet by cramming them in tight shoes, walking on hard pavements and stressing them in our stilettos. Foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, arch pain, and Achilles tendonitis are some of the common issues that may result. Simple stretching is key to relieving tightness and in helping to stimulate blood flow in the lower extremities. Whether you are at work or at home, you can incorporate simple stretches and strengthening exercises to keep your feet and legs limber. Kick off those shoes for a few minutes and try some daily desk routines.
Bottle or ball roll: A cold or frozen water bottle or a tennis or golf ball underneath your desk is all you need. Take off your shoes and roll your foot and arch back and forth over the cold bottle or ball. Roll for at least ten minutes per foot.
Leg raises: You can be seated in your office chair or sofa at home. Simply keep your back straight and sit at 90 degrees. Raise your leg and feet parallel to the floor. Flex and point toes, repeat.
Pencil lifts: Drop a pile of unsharpened pencils or a group of small objects on the floor. Take your shoes off, and pick up each object and drop to another pile. This will help strengthen and improve flexibility.
Ankle stretches: Imagine you are writing each letter of the alphabet from A-Z using your foot. By the time you hit letter Z, you have stretched out most of your ligaments and tendons. Repeat with lower case letters.
Step stretch: If you have access to a raised platform or step, with shoes removed, balance the ball of your foot onto the step and slightly lower your heels below the level of the step. This will stretch the posterior leg muscle group as well as the bottom of the feet and arches. Make sure you have a railing or something to keep you steady and be careful you don’t lose your balance.
In addition to stretching and strengthening, don’t forget to walk! It’s simple but sometimes we get so bogged down in our work or stuck on a computer, we remain sedentary. Switch from office shoes and throw on a pair of sneakers during lunch and take a brisk walk. Take stairs instead of the elevator. It may take a few more minutes a day, but remember walking increases circulation. Incorporating simple daily exercises will not only help with foot pain, but may also help in preventing future injury.
The content provided on this blog by Dr. Pruthi is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional health-care provider.