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10 Exercises for Sore Feet

Last updated: May 6, 2022

Keeping feet strong and flexible can help alleviate and even prevent sore feet from occurring. To help with this, incorporate specific foot exercises and stretches into your daily routine and see how they can improve the overall health and functioning of your feet. In this article, we'll dive into the following exercises for sore feet:

Approximately one-quarter of the entire population experiences foot pain or soreness at any given time these days. The most common causes of foot soreness are overuse, injury, standing too long, treading on rough or uneven surfaces, and wearing the wrong footwear.

If you experience sore feet, alleviating that soreness and strengthening your feet will be beneficial. To accomplish this, it’s essential to incorporate foot-specific exercises into your daily workout routine.

Approximately one-quarter of the entire population experiences foot pain or soreness at any given time these days. The most common causes of foot soreness are overuse, injury, standing too long, treading on rough or uneven surfaces, and wearing the wrong footwear.

Big Toe Exercises for Sore Feet

The big toe plays a valuable role in balance, shock absorption, propulsion, and arch stabilization. To help or prevent foot soreness, try the following big toe exercises.

  • Big Toe Extension: To help alleviate stiffness, cross one foot over the opposite knee. Grasp the heel, and with the other hand, pull the big toe slowly back toward your ankle. Hold for 10-20 seconds.
  • Heel Raise: While seated, position both feet flat on the ground. Slowly lift both heels as high as you are comfortable with then slowly lower back down. This maneuver will bend and stretch your big toe joint.
  • Big Toe Stretch for Arthritis: Designated arthritis in big toe exercises can also help with soreness and pain. These exercises increase range of motion and build strength in the big toe and foot joints. While seated, place one foot across your opposite knee. Hold your heel steady while using your other hand to push the big toe downwards, moving it away from your ankle and stretching the top of your foot. Hold for 15-30 seconds.

Foot Arch Exercises for Sore Feet

Your foot arch comprises the area between the ball of your foot and your heel. Both arch strengthening exercises for flat feet and for high arches, such as the following, are beneficial to treat and prevent soreness.

  • Arch Lifts: Sit or stand. Keep feet flat against the floor to start, then raise the arch as much as possible as you roll your weight to the outside edge, keeping toes and heel on the ground.
  • Marble pick-ups: Place marbles and a cup on the floor in front of you. Remain seated as you use your toes to pick up one marble at a time and place in the cup (if possible). Repeat up to 12 times.
  • Heel or Toe Walking: Walk across the room on your toes, with your heels slightly elevated off the floor. To return, do the opposite with your toes slightly elevated and walking on your heels.

Exercises for Tendonitis

Achilles tendinitis is another common cause of foot soreness and pain, occurring due to inflammation or irritation of the tendons of the foot, most often due to injury or overuse. To treat tendinitis, try these exercises.

  • Ball Roll: While seated, place your foot arch over a small ball. Roll the ball with your foot in all different directions – back, front, left, right. Then move the ball around in a circle. Repeat 2x per day.
  • Plantar Fascia and Achilles Tendon Stretch: Grab a towel and create a loop around the bottom of your feet. Gently pull your toes upward toward your body. Keep knees straight. Hold for 10 seconds, then release down

Arthritis Exercises for Sore Feet

Arthritis is a primary cause of foot pain and soreness. Increasing foot strength and flexibility can help.

  • Toe Band Pull: Place a rubber band around the toes of each foot. Spread your toes. Hold for 5 seconds, release, and repeat up to 10 times.
  • Toe Splay: Sit in a straight-back chair with feet flat against the ground. Spread toes away from each other. Hold for 5-7 seconds, then release. Repeat 4-6 times.
    Ankle circles: While seated, lift foot off the ground and draw circles in the air, leading with the big toe. Do this clockwise, then counterclockwise several times.

Foot pain may be from overuse or injury but can also alert you to other potential health issues, including arthritis, diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, neuropathy, cellulitis infection, gout, or deep vein thrombosis.

FAQs

Is foot pain associated with other potential health issues?

Foot pain may be from overuse or injury but can also alert you to other potential health issues, including arthritis, diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, neuropathy, cellulitis infection, gout, or deep vein thrombosis.

Should you walk or run with sore feet?

Continuing to walk or run with sore feet will depend upon the level of pain and type of injury. If you are unsure why your feet are sore, take a few days off from long walks or runs. Start back slowly and see if the soreness returns.

How many steps per day should you walk with sore feet?

The average number of steps to take per day is anywhere between 4,000 and 6,000. If foot soreness or pain continues or increases, rest, elevate and slowly work your way back up to that number.

How can you avoid shin splints when walking/running?

To avoid shin splints, wear proper fitting footwear, warm up before walking/running, and alternate days for exercising. Walkers also need to avoid shoes with thick heels (as found in running shoes).

How should you treat blisters on your feet?

Cover the intact blister with moleskin or bandage. If the blister is broken and looks infected, contact a medical professional. If the unbroken blister is painful, consider draining the fluid inside.

What are common foot pain causes?

Common causes for foot pain include Plantar fasciitis, tarsal tunnel syndrome, metatarsalgia, Achilles tendonitis, osteoarthritis, ingrown toenails, corns, calluses, bunions, and hammertoe.

When should I seek help for my sore feet?

If your foot soreness lingers or worsens after approximately three days or is accompanied by swelling, numbness, tingling, a burning sensation, broken skin or wound, it’s time to seek the help of a medical professional. If you are diabetic, contact your doctor immediately if you have an open wound that is slow in healing.

What are some common treatments for sore feet?

In addition to stretching and exercising, try the following common treatments for sore feet:

  • Apply cold compresses for 15-20 minutes, 2-3 times a day.
  • Utilize a foot roller or tennis ball to stretch and massage feet for 3-5 minutes.
  • Soak feet with warm water and Epsom Salts.
  • Wear compression socks.

 


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