5 Stretches to Relieve Foot and Ankle Pain
Foot and ankle pain can be aggravating, especially when it hits you with your first steps out of bed in the morning. The key to decreasing pain is to stretch daily, particularly before any rigorous exercise. Try some of these stretches to help relieve your foot and ankle pain.
- Heel Cord Stretch – Sit with your right leg straight out in front of you. Wrap a hand towel around the ball of your foot, holding the ends in each of your hands. Pull the ends of the towel toward you until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your calf. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat with your left leg.
- Wall Push-Up Stretch – Stand facing a wall at arm’s distance and place both palms on the wall. Keeping your heels flat on the floor and your knees locked, lean forward by bending at the elbows until you feel your Achilles tendon stretch. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat 10 times.
- Tennis Ball Roll – Use a tennis ball. While seated, roll the tennis ball with the arch of your foot. If you are able to, progress to doing this exercise while you are standing up. (Helpful hint: To relieve foot pain after exercise, you can use a frozen water bottle in place of the tennis ball and roll the frozen water bottle with the arch of your foot.)
- Toe Release – Stand as if you’ve just taken a step forward with your right leg (so your left leg is behind you). Tuck your left foot under so the tops of your toes touch the floor. You should feel a stretch along the top of your foot. Hold, then switch feet.
- Alphabet Ankle Stretch – Sit in a chair tall enough that your feet hang and do not touch the ground. Start writing the alphabet in the air with one foot, with your big toe acting like the pencil, and go through each of the 26 letters. As soon as you get through the alphabet with one foot, you should begin repeating the same stretch with the other foot.
If your foot or ankle is still causing you pain, contact our office to discuss possible treatment options.