Most americans are either on their feet or sitting behind a desk in a static position for most of the day. As we all know standing and sitting for long periods of time can inflame our lower extremities which becomes uncomfortable. Instead of moving properly to improve our foot pain we jerk, bend, and tweak ourselves into a band aid position. Here are a few foot and ankle prep exercises that have helped me survive plantar fasciitis.
1. Lacross ball / Myofascial release
2. Toe heel pause
3. Toe heel reflex
4. Toe walks
5. Heel walks
6. Heel to toe combination movement
The exercises listed above can be done within the first ten minuets of getting out of bed!
Foot pain can have a profound impact on quality of life. Half of all adults say that foot pain has restricted their activities—like walking, exercising, working, or playing with grandchildren—in some way. For those with chronic foot pain, that number jumps to 83 percent. People say they would exercise more (39 percent) and participate in more activities (41 percent) if it weren’t for their foot pain. (American Podiatric Medical Association)
The first exercise is to be used with a (Lacross Ball) this is a great way to stimulate the stretch reflex in your feet. While standing you can balance yourself in a doorway while executing this exercise. Roll each foot over the lacross ball for one to two minuets.
The second progression, you rock up high on your toes and one second pause then roll back to the heels and one second pause while keeping your hips forward. Put your thumbs on the small of your back while bringing your spine and belly button together, this will help you to perform the movement properly. It is very easy to create false ankle flexion if you push your hips back while rocking to the heels. Repeat this exercise for three sets of ten repetitions.
The third is a continuous movement from toe to heal without pause. Repeat this exercise for three sets of ten repetitions.
Toe walks can be performed in place for two sets of thirty seconds or you can walk down the hall of your home for four sets. Toe walks should be executed by standing high on your toes while taking very small steps moving forward.
Heel walks can be performed in place for two sets of thirty seconds or you can walk down the hallway of your home for four sets. Heel walks should be executed by standing on your heels with toes curled towards the shins while taking very small steps moving forward. Remember to keep your thumbs on the small of your lower back when performing this exercise.
Heel to toe combination movement can be performed as a unilateral exercise by making ground contact with the heel rolling up onto the toes while standing in place. I suggest if you are to perform this exercise in place you alternate feet. You can also perform this exercise by moving forward down the hallway of your home.