Foot and ankle are parts of the body that are subjected to a significant amount of physical stress and strain. They support your weight, aid in movement, and form the basis for your equilibrium and stability.
Neglecting the health of your foot and ankle can lead to a range of issues, from tightness and discomfort to more serious injuries. That’s why it’s important to keep them healthy and strong. One way to do this is by doing regular foot and ankle stretches.
Here we will explore the benefits of foot and ankle stretches and some simple foot and ankle exercises.
Benefits of Foot and Ankle Stretches
Foot and ankle stretches offer numerous benefits, including:
- Increased flexibility: Stretching your feet and ankles can loosen up the muscles and tendons, which can improve your range of motion.
- Reduced pain and stiffness: Stretching your feet and ankles can help to reduce pain and stiffness, especially if you have foot conditions like plantar fasciitis or arthritis.
- Improved balance and coordination: Stretching strengthens the muscles and tendons in the feet to improve your balance and coordination.
- Reduced risk of injury: Stretching can help to reduce the risk of injuries to your feet and ankles.
Simple Foot and Ankle Stretches
The following are simple stretches that you can perform at home.
Sit on a chair or the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you. Flex your ankles, then slowly rotate them in a circle, as if you’re drawing a big circle with your toes. Do ten circles in each direction.
This exercise helps loosen up the ankle joint and improves the ankle range of motion. Ankle circles can be done in sitting and lying positions.
This stretch is a lot like a calf stretch. For the Achilles stretch, start by standing near a wall with your hands on the wall at eye level. Place your right leg a step behind your left leg and keep your right heel on the floor. Bend your left knee until you feel a stretch in your right leg.
Hold the stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds and repeat two to four times on each of your legs.
Sit on the floor and extend your legs. Wrap a towel or a band around your toes on both feet and pull back slightly until you start to feel a stretch at the bottom of your feet and back of your lower legs.
Repeat the exercise at least three times and hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
Exercises for Flexibility and Mobility
The following are some exercises that can help improve the flexibility and mobility of your feet and ankles.
Big Toe Stretch
The big toe stretch is designed to stretch and relieve pain in the toes from wearing tight shoes.
To do a big toe stretch, sit up straight on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Bring your right foot to rest on the left thigh. Next, use your fingers and gently stretch your big toe up, down, and to the side. Keep your toe in each stretched position for five seconds and repeat at least 10 times before switching to your other foot.
Toe Raise, Point, And Curl
This simple exercise has three strategies that help strengthen all parts of the feet and toes.
To perform this exercise, simply sit up straight in a chair with your feet on the floor. Raise your heels with your toes on the floor. Make sure that the balls of your feet remain on the ground.
For the second stage of the exercise, raise your heels and point your toes so that only the tip of your big toe and second toe touch the floor.
For the third stage, raise your heels and curl your toes in such a way that only the tips of your toes are touching the floor.
Hold all these stages for 5 seconds and repeat each stage 10 times.
Exercises For Strength
Simple exercises that can help enhance the strength of your feet include:
Sit on a chair or the floor with your feet flat on the ground. Scrunch up your toes, like you’re trying to grab something with them. Hold the squeeze for 5 to 10 seconds, then release. Repeat ten times. This exercise helps improve flexibility and strength, which is crucial for balance and stability.
Simply walk barefoot on sand to stretch and strengthen your feet and cause. Slowly but gradually try to increase the distance of walking on sand.
Foot And Ankle Specialist Near Me Port Charlotte, Florida
Foot and ankle stretches and exercises are critical for maintaining healthy and functional feet and ankles. Remember to talk to your foot and ankle doctor before beginning any foot and ankle exercise routine.
At Advanced Orthopedic Center, our board-certified foot and ankle doctor, Dr. Steven Anthony, is extensively experienced and skilled in diagnosing and treating a wide range of foot and ankle conditions and injuries. Our foot and ankle experts also recommend exercises and stretches as a part of a comprehensive podiatric care plan.
To make an appointment with one of our doctors, reach us at (941) 629-6262 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you!