Exercises for Seasonal Foot Pain

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Have you changed your footwear from your winter boots, work shoes or heavy walking boots, to lighter trainers, summer shoes, or even flip flops, since the weather has improved following the torrential rain we experienced earlier in the year? How are your feet feeling? Mine have been aching as they are not used to the lack of support.

Our winter boots and shoes support and restrict the movement of the joints in our feet more than our summer shoes. Summer sandals lack a lot of the material structure that comes with weatherproof footwear, whilst trainers tend to be made from softer material which does not support as well as leather etc. As a result, as we shift between restrictive to more relaxed footwear and back again, the soft tissues in our feet, such as ligaments and muscles can fatigue, become inflamed, or even strain as they try to adjust to either an increased need to stabilise your feet, or a restriction in movement.

I thought I would share a few of my favourite exercises to help stretch your feet out, and to reduce any aches and pains caused by a change in footwear.
Canva – Stones on Woman’s Feet Photo by EVG photos

Alphabet Ankle Sitting

Sitting bare foot, lift your foot off the floor. Use your toes and ankle to draw letters of the alphabet. Start with "a" and then progress right through the alphabet to "z". Keep each letter and movement controlled and specific.

Repeat 1 times

Toe Flexion Both Sides

Bend your toe(s) downwards. Hold, and relax. This will help improve mobility to your toes.

Hold for 5 secs | Repeat 8 times

Toe Extension Both Sides

Bend your toe(s) upwards. This will help improve mobility to your toes.

Hold for 5 secs | Repeat 8 times

Toe Abduction

Place your foot flat on the floor. Try to spread all of your toes outwards. It is a fairly difficult exercise and the outer toes may not move much at all. It may take some practice, so keep persisting. This exercise is useful for improving mobility of your toes, and reducing the onset of bunions.

Hold for 5 secs | Repeat 8 times

Spikey Ball Plantar Fascia Massage Sitting

Sit down on a chair, and place a spikey ball under the sole of your foot. Roll the ball up and down your foot, between your heel and your toes. Do not massage the heel area, but keep to the soft plantar fascia on the sole of the foot.