Simple Stretches for Arthritic Feet

You’ve probably heard plenty about how you need to stay active and exercise in order to manage your weight, metabolism, or diabetes. But did you know your feet need exercise, too? This is particularly true for those who suffer from arthritis, as foot exercises are among the best way to keep your supporting muscles strong and protect your joints from further wear and tear.

Even though “foot exercises” aren’t necessarily something we’re accustomed to thinking about, there are a lot of simple stretches for arthritis that’ll do the trick. Here are some of our favorites.

  • Towel Curls: These are great for the toes and arch. Place a hand towel or piece of cloth at your forefoot, grasp with your toes, and pull it toward you—keeping your heel on the ground. Hold the stretch for a few seconds, then push the cloth back to its starting point. You can also try lifting it off the ground and replacing it, too (still with the heel planted).

  • Manual Toe Stretches: Simply grasp each toe, gently pull it back as far as it will go (without pain), hold for 10 seconds, and release.

  • Toe Raises: It doesn’t get simpler than this—just stand on your tiptoes for 10 seconds, then gently lower yourself back down. Use a wall, chair, or other sturdy object for support and safety if necessary.

  • Arch Stretches: There are lots of ways to stretch the arch, but one of our favorites involves placing a spherical or cylindrical object (like a tennis ball or can of soup) underfoot, applying gentle pressure, and rolling it from toes to heel and back.

  • Sitting Plantar Fascia Stretch: Another great one for your arch! Sit in a chair with one foot crossed over the other knee. Grab the ball of your foot at the base of your toes and pull it back gently, stretching the arch. Hold and repeat, then switch feet.

We hope you’ll find these stretches easy, fun, and helpful for your arthritis pain! If chronic discomfort is keeping you off your feet, though, seek out Dr. Victoria Melhuish, DPM in Gardnerville, NV. In addition to an exercise plan, you may stand to benefit from insoles, orthotics, massage, or in some cases even surgery. You can reach us at (775) 783-8037 to set up your appointment.

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