14 Exercises and Tips to Relieve Foot Pain
Many of us have experienced some pain in the soles of our feet or heels. This can happen after a workout, standing for long hours, or gaining weight. Pressure can damage or tear the tissue covering the bones at the base of the foot, causing inflammation and pain.
Bright Side has made a compilation of some exercises and tips that can relieve inflammation in the soles of your feet and heels, as well as tips to prevent it from happening again. However, if the pain or fatigue is intense or recurrent, we advise you to visit a specialist.
- Towel stretch. Sit on the floor with your legs straight. Roll up a towel, hold it from both sides and place it on the sole of your foot. Pull it toward you gently for at least 15 seconds. Repeat the exercise 2 to 4 times.
- Toe stretch. Sit in a chair, extend your legs with your feet on the floor. With your hand, hold your big toe and bring it up and back. Repeat 2 to 4 times, several times a day.
- Calf stretch. Stand an arm’s length away from a wall. Place your right foot behind your left. Slowly and gently bend your left leg forward while keeping your right knee straight and your right heel flat on the floor. Do this for 15 to 30 seconds and rest. Repeat three times, alternating legs.
- Massage the arch of your foot. You can do this standing or sitting. Rest your foot on a small ball or a frozen water bottle (the cold could reduce inflammation). Roll the object slowly from the sole of your foot right to the back part of your heel. Repeat 10 times on each foot once a day.
- Pick up marbles from the floor. Sit down and place the marbles on the floor next to an empty cup. Using only your toes, pick them up one by one and place them in the container.
- Stretch the sole of your foot. Before getting out of bed, stretch your foot by flexing it up and down at least 10 times before standing up.
- Roll up a towel on the floor. Sit down and spread a towel on the floor. Place the sole of your foot on it and use your toes to try to tuck it between your toes and roll it.
- Bend your toes. Place your heels on the floor. Slightly lift your toes and bend them downward. Hold the position for a few seconds. Then, bend your toes upward for a few seconds. Repeat 5 times.
- Lift your heels. Hold firmly onto a railing at the edge of a step. Stand with your toes and heels hanging over the edge. Slowly lower your heels just below the edge of the step. Then, slowly rise-up on the balls of your feet. Repeat 10 movements on each foot, rest, and perform one more set.
- Do not pinch the corners of your sheet under the mattress. Try to keep the sheets or covers loose while you sleep. If the sheet is stiff, your feet will be in a pointed position.
- Wear a splint at night while sleeping. Night splints support the ankle and foot in a position that keeps the Achilles tendon and sole of the foot slightly stretched.
- Avoid walking barefoot on hard surfaces. Place sandals or shoes next to your bed. Do not walk without them, especially if they are the first steps when you get up in the morning.
- Apply ice after exercise or physical activity. Fill a cloth bag with ice and place it on the painful area at least three or four times a day for 15 minutes.
- Wear shoes with low heels and thick soles. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says that proper support and fit are important to avoid heel pain and prevent other exercise-related injuries. Make sure the shoe has an orthopedic insole inside to provide additional cushioning.
What are the home tricks you use when you feel pain in your feet or heels? What do you do to relieve swelling in your legs?