Daily Foot and Ankle Exercises
Do each exercise 3 times before getting up in the morning and before bed at night:
Start lying flat for 3 minutes with feet elevated on a cushion or pillow, then:
- Lie with legs flat and knees pushing down into bed and:
1. pull toes up towards the body and hold
2. point toes down toward the bed and hold
- sit on the side of the bed and:
1. straighten out one knee at a time and circle the ankle in each direction
2. with both feet together:
a. pull toes up and hold, spread toes apart
b. point toes down and hold, squeeze toes curled under
c. point toes out and hold
d. point toes in and hold
- Sitting with feet flat on the floor:
1. lift heels up and down keeping the forefoot on the floor
2. lift the forefoot up and down keeping the heels on the floor
3. spread toes as far apart as possible and hold; bring toes together and relax
- Place small towel under feet. Keeping heels still, gather up the towel with toes, then push out again (you can make this exercise harder by placing a weight on the towel)
- Keeping heel and toes flat on the floor, one foot at a time:
1. pull up at eh arch to shorten the foot and try not to curl toes
2. slowly relax and let the foot grow long
- Place a marble on the floor and try to pick it up using the big and second toe
- Place a tennis ball on the floor. Position one foot over the ball so that the instep rests on the ball. Gently roll the ball forward and back, controlling the movement by curling and straightening the toes. Repeat 10 times and then switch feet.
- Lie down with legs straight, heels out and toes bent in toward the body and relax like this for 5 minutes
- Stand on the edge of a stair, hand on to rails, raise up on toes and then drop heels below stair, repeat 5 times
Arch Relief Exercise: relax feet, then roll feet inward so that you are standing on the outside edges of your feet and hold 15 seconds; repeat 5 times.
Heel Stretch: sit with our knees slightly bent, loop a towel around the ball of foot, and slowly pull back until you feel a stretch in lower calf and heel. Hold for 15 seconds; repeat 5 times.
For Bunions and Foot Cramps: put a rubber band around both big toes and pull toes apart, hold for 15 seconds; repeat 5 times.