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The importance of foot care and the exercises to alleviate foot pain

Do we age from the inside out? Does it start from the top and work its way down?  I don’t have those answers.  I do know that the aging process starts at a cellular level but where it begins, I honestly don’t know.  How do I feel it? That is something we can all answer.  We usually feel a twinge in a joint, find ourselves taking longer to recover from an injury or illness, and changes in our skin. Our feet have carried us through life and all the activities we participated in along the way. They also suffered with less than ideal footwear at times, whether because of fashion, or finance.  Having the ability to walk pain free is priceless.  When our feet hurt, we limit our mobility, choose to take less steps and avoid moving.  This eventually impacts our cardio strength and overall health.  Taking care of our feet is a good idea.  Let's explore the importance of foot care and exercises to alleviate foot pain.


Purchasing shoes with a wider toe box and cushioned soles improves our ability to stay active.  Seeing a foot care specialist like a chiropodist or foot care clinician to help with corns, calluses and toe nails is a good investment of your money if you are not able to manage this yourself.


Foot exercises can help alleviate some chronic foot pain as well.  Overuse of certain muscles can result in issues like plantar fasciitis, weak ankles, top of the foot and toe pain.  Easy, daily exercises can improve our feet and manage pain for some of these chronic problems.  Try some or all of these exercises and see if you notice a difference: 


  1. Standing or seated, lift your toes and attempt to spread them as wide as you can, then lower them to the floor.  Repeat 8-10 times.  

  2. Lift your toes and keep them all up, alternate tapping your big toe down and then your baby toe.  Repeat 8-10 times.

  3. With toes planted, alternate feet while pressing into the ball of your foot and toes, fully articulating through your ankle. Repeat each side 8-10 times.

  4. With heels planted, alternate lifting your toes/ball of your foot, lengthening your calf and stretching through your heel. Repeat 8-10 times. For the last repetition, hold your toes up and feel the stretch for a couple breaths.  Creating space between the toes and lengthening your calf and shin muscles will help alleviate pain. 

  5. If you are willing to try more, you can try to lace your fingers through your toes and gently rotate and move about. 

  6. Another fun challenge: with feet flat, press into your big toe and try to move all your other toes away from it.

 

Do these daily and you will feel like you can respond better to weight shifting and walking further.


Written by Anita Findlay, Senior Fitness Instructor Course (SFIC) Trainer

Two feet and exercises for foot pain
Exercises to alleviate foot pain

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