Columbia, TN, podiatrist Dr. Danielle Malin says the importance of stretching for healthy feet can’t be underscored enough and offers advice on how to do so safely.
If you’ve lived in Columbia for any amount of time, you’ve already discovered the vast walking trails, parks, and other public spaces. Something else you may have also noticed is pain and discomfort after an afternoon outing. If so, stretching your feet is one smart and simple thing you can do to reduce discomfort. But the importance of stretching for healthy feet goes beyond pain reduction.
According to our in-house podiatrist Dr. Danielle Malin, stretching before a workout helps prepare the muscles for activity. Stretching your feet will also help to maintain range of motion in the joints.
Stretching Through The Ages
Stretching every muscle in your body, including those of the feet, becomes more important with age. This is especially true if you have to undergo any type of physical therapy to help restore form and function to your feet. Stretching helps to keep your hard-working feet healthy, strong, and flexible. If you don’t stretch, you risk your foot muscles becoming tight, and this can lead to long-term pain down the road. Remember, as you age, your body changes, and anything you can do to improve blood flow and flexibility will benefit you long-term.
Types Of Foot Exercises
According to Dr. Malin, foot stretching isn’t difficult, and there are many different ways you can stretch your feet without ever leaving your desk.
Toe raises are one option. With this exercise, you’ll sit with your feet as flat as possible on the floor. Next, raise your heels as high as possible without separating the ball of your foot from the floor. Hold this position for about five seconds. Next, lift the ball of your foot, point the toes inward, and allow only the tips of your toes to touch the floor.
Another simple foot exercise is a big toe stretch. For this, you’ll need to sit up straight and cross one ankle over the other knee. Then, roll your big toe back and forth to improve flexibility.
Dr. Malin also recommends toe splays. This funny-sounding exercise is the simplest of all. Put your feet on the floor, and spread your toes apart as far as you can without hurting. Hold this for five seconds. As you build up your strength, you can use a rubber band to provide resistance.
There are dozens of exercises that can affect the feet. Make a point to visit your podiatrist before you start any type of exercise routine. Dr. Malin can see you in her Columbia office or, in some cases, schedule a house call to confirm that your feet are healthy enough for new exercises and movements.
Foot Stretching Tips
While stretching your feet is important, safety is, too. Dr. Malin recommends stopping if you feel pain and avoiding any types of sudden movements that could cause muscle tears and tenderness. Ideally, you’ll get to a point where you can hold your stretches for up to 30 seconds. Finally, Dr. Malin recommends staying calm and relaxed while you stretch so that you feel comfortable taking your time and doing it right instead of doing it just to get it done.
Stretching your feet should be a part of your daily routine. You don’t have to be an athlete to keep your feet in top shape. While stretching alone may not be everything your podiatrist recommends for keeping your feet and ankles healthy, it’s a great start. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Malin today if you need more advice or instructions on how to stretch and exercise your feet safely.
Dr. Danielle Malin, DPM of Premier Foot & Ankle Care in Columbia, TN, specializes in treating foot and ankle pain, Achilles tendinitis, warts, nail disorders, hammertoe, bunions, and more. She is a skilled foot and ankle surgeon who offers personalized patient care through her full-service office. Dr. Malin is unique among local podiatrists in that she makes house calls so that she can best care for her diverse patient base. Premier Foot & Ankle Care care treats both adult and pediatric patients. A staff physician at Maury Regional Medical Center, Dr. Malin is Board Certified by the American Board of Foot & Ankle Surgery.