Whether you’re running, jumping, or kicking, being an athlete can put significant pressure on your feet and ankles. This leaves you at risk for sports injuries. Fortunately, there are many ways you can avoid foot pain. To help you keep your feet and ankles ready for the court, here are some stretches to practice before physical activity that can prevent strain.
3 Exercises to Protect Your Feet During Physical Activity
1. Ankle Rolls
Twisting your foot suddenly or repeatedly can strain the connective tissue around the ankle, causing pain and tenderness whenever you put pressure on the area. Ankle rolls can help keep this tissue flexible, allowing it a greater range of motion to prevent damage.
To do this, sit with both legs extended in front of you. Cross one leg over the other and slowly move the top foot in a counterclockwise circular motion. For greater stimulation, flex your foot, which will engage the muscles in the area.
2. Toe Curls
Jumping, dancing, and long-distance running are known to place extra stress on the plantar fascia, the tissue that connects the heel to the toes. If it becomes inflamed due to strain, athletes can develop plantar fasciitis and experience heel and foot pain. Practicing toe curls can help strengthen the arch of your foot and reduce the risk of inflammation.
For this exercise, sit on the floor or a chair and place your feet on a towel. Using your toes, scrunch up the fabric toward the ball of your foot.
3. Golf Ball Rolls
Rolling balls under your feet will strengthen your foot arch to help you prevent strain injuries. It will also help stimulate circulation to prevent Morton’s neuroma, a thickening of tissues around the toe’s nerves, which leads to pain and tenderness at the front of the foot.
This exercise can be done from the comfort of your living room couch. While sitting, place a small ball under your foot. This could be a tennis ball or a golf ball. Gently roll it around the arch, ball, toes, and base of your heel. Repeat this step with both feet.
If these stretches aren’t enough to prevent foot pain, turn to Advanced Foot Care Center of Rochester. With locations in Fairport and Rochester, NY, they’ve served the community for more than three decades. This podiatrist will pinpoint causes of foot and ankle pain and develop custom treatments to restore damaged areas. From diagnosis to rehabilitation, they provide support every step of the way. Visit them online to read testimonials or make an appointment by calling (585) 249-0020.