Excessive tightness in muscles of the foot, ankle, and leg can cause a lot of pain and problems. It is very important to maintain an active lifestyle and exercise daily. However, exercising tightens the muscles. So before and after exercising, it is crucial to stretch rigorously to prevent your muscles from tightening up. The more limber you are, the less pain and problems you will have.
What muscles should you stretch?
Stretching the achilles tendon, which is located in the back of the calf and attaches at the heel, will prevent a lot of ankle and foot pain. As this muscle tightens, which naturally happens as we age, the range of motion in your ankle joint decreases. As that happens, you start to walk abnormally, which will cause pain and swelling in areas of the foot and ankle. Simple stretches should be worked into your daily routine to prevent this from occurring.
Stretching the ligaments on the bottom of the foot is also crucial to prevent any type of heel or arch pain.
What types of stretches for foot and ankle should you do?
- The standard runners stretches are very beneficial, such as leaning on the wall.
- Bending down and touching your toes for 10 seconds at a time can also help stretch the muscles of your lower legs out.
- Using a towel, wrap it around the arch of your foot while you are sitting with your legs fully extended, and push your foot up and down against the towel.
- Rolling the bottom of your foot on a frozen water bottle or tennis ball will help stretch the bottom of your foot
- Hanging your foot off a step will also help stretch the achilles tendon and bottom of the foot
What should you do if you have pain?
If you have pain in your foot or ankle, see a doctor immediately. The longer you wait to have it checked out, the worse the problem can get. It is important to see a doctor so they can give you an appropriate treatment plan based on your condition. This may include stretches for foot and ankle, anti-inflammatory medications, arch supports, and modifying your shoes. Call us today to schedule an appointment at 813-875-0555.