6 Ways to Fight Arthritis Foot Pain

Foot Exercises to Fight Arthritis Pain


If you have arthritis, you know how painful and wide reaching it can be. In fact, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 90 percent of arthritis sufferers develop symptoms in their feet which usually appear in the forefeet, toes, heel, back of the foot and ankles. Regular exercise in these areas can help reduce the damage and decrease pain. Try these:

TOE GRIP: This exercise will strengthen the foot muscles and improve balance. Just drop a sock on the floor and use your toes to grip and lift it off the floor. Hold for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat five times with each foot.

TOE EXTENSION: To strengthen and support the muscles, (which in turn will protect the bones of your feet), wrap an elastic band around all five toes. Expand your toes and hold for five seconds; release. Repeat five times on each foot.

CALF STRETCH: This will keep the Achilles tendons and the plantar fasciae from getting tight. Sit with one leg stretched out in front of you and wrap a towel around the ball of the foot. Pull the towel back gently until you feel a stretch in the arch of the foot and the calf. Hold for 10 seconds; release. Repeat five times on each leg.

HEEL RAISE: This exercise is good for relieving toe cramps caused by standing for hours in constricting shoes. It can also strengthen calf muscles and make them look more defined. Stand up and lift your heels so that you are standing on the balls of your feet. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

TOE SQUEEZES: To strengthen the toes and help alleviate foot pain from hammertoes, separate your toes using corks or foam toe separators and then squeeze your toes together for five seconds. Repeat 10 times. FROZEN BALL FOOT MASSAGE: Simply place a golf ball in the freezer for a few hours. Remove and alternately roll it under each foot while you’re sitting down. The cold textured hard ball can get into the tiny muscles of the foot and give you a deep, healing massage. Remember, check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.  Robin Westen is ThirdAge's Medical Director. Her latest book, co-authored with Dr. Alyssa Dweck, is "V is for Vagina." 
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