Hey you, with your achy feet! Working all those hours can be grueling, standing, walking, and feeling like your feet cannot catch a break. Sure, you can pop an ibuprofen to help take the edge off, but that’s not addressing the root of the issue, nor is it sustainable.
How Can I Alleviate Foot Pain?
There are a few things you can do to ease the pain to make standing for long periods of time more bearable. First, make sure you are wearing comfortable, supportive shoes. Shoes such as Converse or those stylish Nike’s that offer zero support are probably not helping ease your foot pain. Second, take breaks often (even 3 minutes) to sit, walk around, or do a quick quad and hamstring stretch. And third, try these five exercises that can help alleviate foot pain and keep you feeling loose and ready to take on your full day of work!
Top 5 Foot Stretches
- Toe Lifts: This exercise helps strengthen the muscles in your feet and toes, which can help reduce pain in those areas. Standing with your feet hip-width apart, lift your big toe off the ground while keeping the rest of your toes on the ground. Then, lower your big toe back down. Do at least 2 sets of 10.
- Sole Stretch: For this stretch, you will need to get on your hands and knees on the floor. Keep your heels pointing up and the balls of your feet and your toes on the floor. You will sit on top of your heels, with your toes slowly stretching. You should feel this stretch target under your toes and the soles of your feet. Only put as much pressure as you can handle. Do 2 sets of 20 seconds, working up to a max of 45 seconds.
- Toe Scrunches: This can be done while standing or sitting. Keep both feet planted on the floor and slowly scrunch your toes with a medium effort. Hold for 1-2 seconds, then release. Do at least 2 sets of 10.
- Runner’s Stretch: This one targets your Achilles tendon. Since your Achilles attaches to your heel bone, this stretch can help alleviate heel pain. While leaning against a wall, stand in a split stance with one foot out in front and one behind you. Bend the knee that is behind you, while keeping your front knee straight, and lean forward into the wall. You should feel a stretch in your calf/Achilles. Hold this for 30 seconds each side.
- Facia Roll: This one can be a little painful, but it means that you most likely need it. You will want to take off your shoes, use a tennis ball or lacrosse ball, and slowly roll the bottom of your foot in small circles with light pressure. If you feel a knot or something crunchy, go slow and lean as much pressure as you can bare, holding that position for a few seconds. Start with 2 minutes each foot daily.
Arch pain: Exercises. MyHealth.Alberta.ca Government of Alberta Personal Health Portal. (n.d.). Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/aftercareinformation/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=zp4497
Jesner, L. (n.d.). Top stretches if you stand on your feet all day long. EverydayHealth.com. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/stretches-to-do-right-now-if-youre-on-your-feet-all-day/