Here are a variety of stretching exercises for your feet and lower limbs. As always should be the case, if you have any medical or health conditions, please consult a practitioner prior to undertaking any specific exercises.
- Sit comfortably against a wall, on the floor, with your affected leg stretched out in front of you.
- Loop a towel around the ball of your foot. Hold the ends of the towel tightly to avoid slipping. If a towel is too cumbersome, use a belt or band.
- Pull the towel toward you gradually, keeping the leg straight.
- Hold stretches for 30 seconds each for best results, unless you experience pain.
- Repeat three times.
Golf Ball Roll
- Start by rolling a golf ball under each of your feet between 30 and 60 seconds.
- When you feel that the golf ball has touched one of the points where you feel pain, pause for 10 seconds and massage that area.
- Concentrate on stretching your muscles by pulling your toes up and toward your shins.
- Repeat three to five times as needed.
Foot and Ankle Rotations
- Move your foot and ankle in a circle as large as possible
- You should feel no more than a mild to moderate stretch.
- Repeat 10 – 20 times provided the exercise is pain free.
- Don’t forget to do both directions
- Stand arms length away from a wall and with feet shoulder width apart.
- Place your right foot about 2 feet in front of your left.
- Keeping both heels flat on the ground, let both knees bend, you should feel like you are lowering yourself straight down.
- Remember to keep both heels flat on the floor.
- Repeat for the other leg.
The hips are another common problem area for people with arthritis.
- Get on your hands and knees on a mat or comfortable carpet.
- Extend one leg up and out behind you and hold it in that position for five seconds.
- Repeat five times with each leg.
- Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Squeeze your gluteals and then push your hips up until there is a straight line through knee and hip to upper body and shoulders remain on the floor.
- Hold for 1 minute.