The arch of your foot is made of a muscle called the plantar fascia, which extends from the heel bone to the toes. Overexerting or overstretching this muscle can cause this muscle to be tight and inflamed, causing mild to severe foot and heel pain. Tension in the feet can make walking difficult and distract from daily activities. In addition to visiting a foot and ankle specialist in Arizona, here are three ways you can loosen the foot muscles to relieve tension and pain.
Tennis Ball Stretch
The tennis ball stretch provides a massage that relieves tension and improves the muscle health in your feet. Start by sitting down in a chair and placing the arch of your foot over a tennis ball. With increasing pressure, press your arch into the tennis ball to roll it. As the muscles in your foot become loosened up and less tender, you can do the tennis ball stretch standing up.
Stretch for Fallen Arches
Fallen arches, or “flat feet” can overexert the muscles in the foot, causing extreme pain. To alleviate some of the pain, push the ball of your foot against a wall or the edge of a bottom stair, keeping the rest of your foot flat on the ground. Start by keeping the leg straight to stretch your arch, your ankle, and your anterior tibialis muscle. After holding this stretch with your leg straight, slightly bend your knee to intensify the stretch in your arch.
Read More: Flat Feet: A Common Problem
Strengthening Your Arch
Fallen arches keep your feet from properly absorbing shock, creating a buildup of tension. With a little work, you can strengthen and start to rebuild your arches to alleviate pain in your feet and ankles. To perform towel curls, spread the length of a towel on the floor so that the short side is lined up with the front of a chair. Sit down in the chair so that your knee is bent at a ninety degree angle and your foot is flat on the edge of the towel. Keeping your heel completely still, use your toes to bunch up the towel and inch it towards you. Repeat this step until you run out of the length of the towel.
Although these are great exercises to loosen your muscles, you will need the medical support of a foot and ankle doctor in Phoenix. Work with a Phoenix foot doctor who is committed to improving the quality of your life by helping you eliminate the pain in your feet and ankles.