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Easy To Do Arthritis Foot & Ankle Exercises


When it comes to arthritis, the stiffening of certain joints can greatly inhibit our day to day activity. This can be especially true when it comes to the foot and ankle joint as they are the joints most regularly in contact with the ground, if there is an issue here it can stress other areas higher up the kinetic chain. It’s only when you begin to feel pain in these joints that you appreciate how much you need and use them. 

As with any arthritic joint you have to keep it active in order to keep it moving freely. That’s easier said than done when you’re in a lot of pain. But thanks to the help of experts Function Jigsaw here are some very easy-to-do-at-home exercises to help improve the range of mobility and strength in your feet and ankles. 

As with all exercises if you feel any of these are beyond what you are capable of or cause you pain please stop immediately and contact a local physician or therapist.

Calf Raises

How To Do It: 

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and simply raise up onto the balls of your feet. You can rest your hands against a wall for balance but let your calf muscles take all the weight. You should feel a slight pull in your calf muscles. 

Purpose: 

By strengthening the calf muscle around the ankle joint you are able to better support the joint itself. This allows the muscle to do the heavy lifting so your joint has less strain on it. 

Big Toe Stretch 

How To Do It: 

Place your toes against a hard, vertical surface (ideally a step so as your knee can flex over it) with your toes pressed right up against the step. Then put your weight forward onto your knee, keeping your trailing leg as straight as possible. You should feel a slight pull through the sole of your foot. Repeat the stretch a few times and then swap to the other foot and repeat. 

Purpose: 

Stretching out the big toe increases the strength in the muscles in the sole of your foot. This, in turn, can help support your arch, increase the range of movement and better support all the joints in your foot. 

Planta Fascia Roll

How To Do It:

Take a ball, hockey balls are good for this - the harder the ball the deeper the results will be but you can start with something softer like a tennis ball - and placing as much weight on the ball as you feel comfortable (remember to maintain balance on your other foot) roll your foot back and forth over the ball. 

Purpose: 

This exercise can loosen up the muscles in the sole of your foot. It’s essentially giving your foot a lovely, soothing massage. This, in turn, can help relieve stiffness and get blood flow back to the foot.

Tip Toe Walk

How To Do It:

Just like you were taught as a child. Simply raise your weight onto the tips of your toes and walk forward. If you are struggling with balance do this along a wall to steady yourself. Don’t over-do this one as it can begin to cause issues if done for too long. 

Purpose: 

Tiptoe walking will strengthen your calf muscle to better support the ankle joint and enhance your balance. Doing this can also help increase the range of movement and flexibility in your toes which can help with any stiffness you may be experiencing there.

Further Reading

Easy to do Arthritis Knee Exercises

 

How To Sleep Better When You Have Osteoarthritis