Foot Injury & Stretches
Foot pain whether arising from an acute injury or chronic inflammation can be very challenging. The location of the pain can vary from the heel to the arch and can be debilitating. We see foot pain often at East and thought we could shed some light on what you may be experiencing and give you some stretches that you can try at home.
Common Causes of Ball of Foot Pain:
Metatarsalgia - Inflammation and pain in the ball of foot often due to wearing shoes that do not fit properly.
Morton's Neuroma - Often between the third and fourth toes, the tissue around the nerves is thickened which causes pain and or numbness in the ball of the foot. Often the result of high heel shoes.
Sesamoiditis - The tendons surrounding your sesamoids which support your big toe become injured and inflamed. Common in both dancers and runners.
Common Causes of Arch Pain:
Plantar Fasciitis - Inflammation of the tissue that connects the toes to the heel through the arch.
Fallen Arches - Also known as "Flat Feet". Often due to excessive standing or walking over long periods (months or years). When arches flatten it can cause pain. Using shoe inserts can be helpful.
Plantar Fasciitis - inflammation of the tissue that connects the toes to the heel through the arch.
Heel Spurs - these are calcium growths that deposit on the bottom of the foot and can lead to sharp pain.
Plantar Warts - these often go unnoticed for some time on the bottom of the foot as they grow inward. After time they can cause pain.
Stone bruise - A very deep bruise on the bottom of the foot near the pad or on the heel. This is often caused by stepping on a hard object or from impact of some sort.
Heel fracture - An impact injury in which the calcaneus bone is broken or hairline fractured. Often it is difficult to support the weight of the body with a heel fracture.
All of these injuries require attention and it is recommended to rest the foot, ice the foot and wear shoes with comfortable arch support. It is recommended that you get medical attention if you cannot carry your own weight comfortably. Ask your health professional before doing any of the stretches below.
Foot Stretches To Increase Your Mobility:
Toe Spreading Rotation
Place your fingers in between your toes on your opposite foot and grasp. Slowly rotate your ankle clockwise and then rotate counter clockwise. The goal is to get complete rotation, so that your foot enters a complete flexed state and then a complete pointed state. Repeat this several times on each foot.
Tennis Ball Arch Stretch
Place a tennis ball under the arch of the foot. Hold onto a chair to balance if necessary. Roll the tennis ball slowly from heel to toes and then from toes to heel. Repeat this motion several times. Then roll the tennis ball from left to right and zig zagging from heel to toes.
Toe & Heel Stretch
Straighten one leg out in front of you (knee can be bent). Grasp below your big toe and little toe with your thumb and first two fingers. Push the toes down to point the toes and then pull them back to flex the foot. Repeat several times. To finish, massage the tops of the foot in between all of the toe joints.