“Ugly” shoes, crop tops, and high-waisted shorts are all trending fashion pieces for Summer 2014. Socks with sandals—now that’s a stretch. Only the bravest and boldest can pull off this trend. In fashion terms, we can see how the word “stretch” could be negative or represent something hard to do. When we’re talking exercise, on the other hand, stretching is easy and it’s always in style.
Flexibility is vital in preventing foot injuries and avoiding pain in the lower limbs. If you ignore a good warm up or cool down, it’s going to catch up with you. Sooner or later, your un-stretched ankles and feet might start developing plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. Hey, they have to get through to you somehow!
If you want to get rid of heel pain, try a calf stretch after you run. This requires you to stand facing a wall with your palms on it, putting one leg behind you. With heels down, lean toward the wall until your upper calf receives a stretch. If you want to feel it in your lower calf, bring your back leg in a few inches and bend both knees. Hold this for 30 seconds each leg. You can also stretch your calves and tendons near the heel by standing on the stairs. Hang your heels off the edge, raise onto your tiptoes, lift one leg off the step, and slowly lower the other so it drops below it. Switch sides and repeat 10 times for each foot.
Don’t forget a toe stretch. Spreading your toes apart will improve balance, roll your foot into a full range-of-motion when you step, and help prevent a lot of issues—heel pain, bunions, and even back problems—that may come with an improper foot strike. To create resistance, wrap one or two rubber bands around the toes while you do this.
If you have serious heel pain or sports injuries that aren’t improving with stretching or rest, call Richardson Podiatry Associates at (972) 690-5374. We can help you with the do’s and don’ts of treatment!