Last week when we talked about finding the best footwear and before that when just talking about foot health in general I touched upon the idea of our feet being weak and unable to support themselves because of the way we’ve treated them. In both those previous posts I mentioned exercises to help reverse this. This week we are going to expand on this and discuss some of those exercises.
A key component of a strong foot is a strong ankle which requires not only muscle strength but proper mobility. This simple exercise will give us both of these factors in one shot. The Ankle Alphabet is performed by holding your foot (bare is better but it can be done in shoes that do not touch the ankle) just off the floor while seated or lying down. Hold you knee steady and write the alphabet in the air with your toes. All of the movement to do this should come from your ankle and not your toes, knee, or hip. Perform this exercise once a day on each foot writing the whole alphabet out.
This next exercise helps to get the muscles and tissues on the bottom of our feet moving properly and will decrease tension and spasm. Place a dish towel flat on the floor and, in a seated position, put your bare foot down so that the edge of the towel is under the first knuckle of your toes and your toes are on top of the towel. Keeping your foot in contact with the floor as much as you can, grab the towel with your toes and push it back under your foot. Repeat this process until you reach the far end of the towel. You may have to occasionally lift your foot to allow the towel to move farther back as more is collected by your toes. When you reach the end of the towel smooth it out again and start over. Repeat this process several times on each foot daily.
This next exercise is a little different and can be fairly uncomfortable when first starting out. As we’ve talked about before, tension can build up in the tissues of the bottom of the foot and the Towel Grab alone may not be enough to loosen them again. For the Plantar Stretch you need to be seated with one foot resting comfortably on top of the opposite knee. Take one thumb and place it on the sole of your foot. We’re going to call that thumb the “Pressure Hand” (PH). The other hand should grab onto your toes. We’ll call that hand the “Lever Hand” (LH). Keep your foot relaxed and curl your toes down with the LH. Then push into the bottom of your foot in an area that feels tense (generally around the arch) with the PH. Maintain the pressure on the bottom of your foot and slowly uncurl your toes with your LH. When your toes are fully extended, release the pressure from your PH and curl your toes again with your LH. Repeat this process in a variety of tense spots about 5-10 times on each foot 2-4 times a week.
Chiropractic care is very effective at treating foot problems and helping maintain good foot health. Each foot has 26 bones articulating in 33 joints. So why not see a joint, muscle, and bone specialist for optimal health?
Remember, feet are the foundation of our posture and without a strong foundation a building falls down.
Thanks for reading,