Did you know that we have 26 bones in each foot? This means that approximately one quarter of all the bones in your body, are in your feet. Our feet take a lot of load on a daily basis, so it is important to take care of them.
The foot can be a common area of pain, discomfort and limited mobility and this can have a large effect on our day to day lives. Dysfunction in the feet can also cause pain in other areas of our body because it changes the way we walk!
The Christmas and New Year holidays are often a busy time of year for most people and can include travelling, lots of walking (to get started on those New Years resolutions), and even prolonged periods of sitting or standing still. We often wear shoes that compress our feet and make us uncomfortable even while we are active. So how do we help combat foot pain and dysfunction?
Here are some quick and easy strategies that you can use to maintain healthy feet:
1. Ankle Mobility Exercises
If you have travel plans or even plan to make the most of your well deserved holidays with a mixture of movement and relaxation, it can be helpful to maintain regular ankle mobility. Not only do these movements promote circulation, good ankle mobility can assist us with normal daily movements such as getting up from sitting, squatting and being able to get up and down stairs.
Try some of these movements to help maintain your ankle mobility these holidays:
- Ankle Circles – You can either do these laying on your back or sitting down with your foot stretched out slightly in front of you. Move your ankles in a circle, alternating clockwise to anti-clockwise.
- draw the alphabet with your feet/ankles – Laying down or in sitting with your foot hovering just off the ground. Move your foot around as if you were trying to draw the letters of the alphabet in the air.
- seated calf raises – Sitting with your feet flat on the ground. Keep your toes on the ground and raise your heels off the floor. Slowly lower back down to the start position and repeat. Make sure the middle of your ankle stays approximately in line with your 2nd toe as your rise up.
2. Foot Mobility exercises
The joints in our feet allow them to move in many different ways. But often when we wear tight or restrictive footwear this mobility can be reduced. Here are some simple
movements and stretches which may help to get them moving again.
- Toe Scrunches in sitting – scrunch your toes as if you were dragging a towel towards you on the ground while still keeping your heel in contact with the ground. Repeat for up to 20 seconds, then rest or until you feel your feet tire.
- Toe Spreading – Start seated with your feet on the ground. Try to spread your toes apart then relax. Repeat 10-15 times.
- Toe Stretches – Rest your heel up onto your opposite thigh. Use your hand to gentle hold your big toe and pull it back towards your shin until you feel a gentle stretch in the foot. This should not cause pain. Hold for 20 seconds then relax. You can repeat this stretch 3 times once per day.
3. Consult your physiotherapist
If you suffer from foot pain or are concerned that your feet will not cope with a large increase in activity during your holiday, or on your return to work, book in with your physio today for a full assessment so they can give you a tailored program and help determine what is causing your foot pain.
– Melissa Andreatta, Physiotherapist
If you would like to make an appointment with Melissa, give one of our friendly team a call on 4724 0768 or Click Here, to book online.