Ankle & Foot Pain

Peroneal Tendonitis Stretches & Exercises

Peroneal tendonitis is the inflammation of a tendon in your outer (lateral) ankle.  The peroneal muscles run down the back of the lower leg, and the tendon runs behind the bump on your outer ankle (lateral malleolus).  When the tendon is irritated, it can cause swelling on the outer ankle and ankle pain when walking or exercising. These stretches and exercises should help.

Since the peroneal muscles runs behind and to the outside of the leg, it’s important to stretch the calf area.  You can do this with your legs out in front of you or standing up.  You can even stretch your Achilles tendon and peroneal tendon on a step.

Strengthening the peroneal tendon and muscles are also important.  Since it helps the ankle go into eversion, you can easily exercise them with a resistive band.

Another great way to exercise the whole ankle area is with standing heel/toe raises as well as a balance series.

Finally, a side step up, because of the side to side movement helps strengthen the whole ankle area.

Related Videos:

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5 Ways to Relieve Peripheral Neuropathy Foot Pain & Other Foot Ailments

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If you have these foot ailments: peripheral neuropathy, arthritis, hammer toes, strains and sprains, and achiness, then this video will show you 5 ways to help relieve this pain including using far infrared heat.

Here are my top five ways to help relieve foot pain.

First is a calf stretch. You can stretch your calf several different ways. This stretch will be with a strap. Start off with your leg out in front of you. Keep the leg you want to stretch out in front of you. Take a stretch strap, dog leash, belt, or towel and wrap it around the ball of your foot. Relax your foot, and pull the strap towards you stretching your calf muscle. You should feel the stretch under your leg. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do three of them.

The second way to relieve pain is to use Far Infrared Heat. Far infrared heats the area with light vs. actual heat, so it can penetrate deeper into the area. A traditional heating pad usually only heats about 0.25 cm, but far infrared can go up to 6 cm, or 2.36 inches. It helps increase the circulation to the area to provide temporary relief.

The Thermotex Platinum and Foot Unit are both great devices that use this Far Infrared heat therapy to help relieve pain.

Click here to watch my full review for the Thermotex Platinum, which also features more detailed info about far infrared heat.

Next is ankle pumps. With your legs straight out in front of you, place a roll just under your ankle so your heel can move freely, or just hold it in the air. Trying to keep your leg straight and moving only at your ankle, pull your foot up towards you, and then push it down like you are pushing on a peddle. Start off with 10, and work your way up to 20-25.

Now you will do heel/toe raises. For seated heel/toe raises, start off by lifting your heel off the floor while keeping your toes on the floor. Next, you will do toe raises, bringing the toes off the floor with the heel on the floor. If these become easy, you can do them standing.

The final exercise will be a balance series. Stand on one foot, but hold onto something sturdy. Try to balance for 30 seconds to a minute. When that becomes easy, just use one finger one each side. Then just one finger for balance, and finally try balancing without holding on at all.

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Plantar Fasciitis Treatment with Massage, Stretches, & Exercises

Plantar fasciitis treatment with massage, stretches, & exercises is great for pain relief. Plantar fasciitis is when tissue on the bottom of our feet get irritated and inflamed. This can be very painful, and sometimes people have a difficult time walking with it.

For plantar fasciitis, often people will have the worst pain in the morning when they first walk. The pain can be in the bottom of the foot, the arch of the foot, and/or the heel. These stretches and exercises should help relieve the pain.

There are several stretches in this video to help relieve the pain. First you are going to stretch your calf muscle, or gastrocnemius muscle. You can prop up your foot with something or hang it over the edge of something so you heel will move freely. Keep your leg straight, and take the belt or leash and place it on the ball of your foot. Relax your leg and then pull your foot towards you. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, 3 times.

Now, you want to massage the tissue, or fascia on the bottom of your foot. Start with pushing right down the center of the foot from the heel to the toes. You can use lotion or oil to help reduce the friction. Then use circular and spreading or fanning motions, and apply more pressure where you feel knots. You might feel scar tissue/adhesions through out the bottom of the foot, and these are the areas you want to focus on.

These next stretches you can do sitting. The best time is right before you get out of bed because many people have the most pain when they first put weight on their feet in the morning. You can use a massage ball, noodle or foam roll, and place it under your foot. Roll lightly at first, and then apply more pressure if it is not too painful.

You can also take a water bottle and freeze it. This will give you an ice massage while you are stretching the fascia when rolling it under your foot. You can place it in a cooler by your bed so you don’t have to get up if you don’t have anyone to get it for you. Or you can train your dog to get it for you :-)

While you are sitting, you can strengthen the muscles underneath to help move out the irritation and strengthen the area. Take a resistive band, and start off with a light resistance. Place it under your toes, and try to keep your foot down. Lift your toes, and pull them back down. If the band is too much, you can do the movement without the band. Start off with ten reps, and work your way up from there.

Another great way to stretch the fascia is to get on all fours or quadruped. Fan your toes out where they are flat on the floor. You should feel the stretch, but if you want more of a stretch, lean back and sit on your heels. Try to hold this for 30 seconds, and do it three times.

Then you can do standing stretch on a step or curb. Place the ball of your foot on the edge of the step and relax your heel downwards. This will stretch your fascia and your calf. Hold for 30 seconds and do it 3 times.

The last stretch can be done against a wall or something solid. Prop your foot up with your heel down on the floor. The higher you can put your toes, the more of a stretch you will get. Lean forward against the wall, and try to keep your leg straight. Hold for 30 seconds and do it 3 times.

The last set of exercises will be heel raises and balance exercises. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, come up on your toes as high as you can. Try not to lean forward, but bring your body straight up and slowly come back down. Push off as much as you can so your heel leaves the ground. Start off with ten and work your way up to 20-25.

Finally, you will work on balance. Try to balance on one foot. Try to look at something straight in front of you, and try not to look down at your feet. Start off with 10-15 seconds, and do it three times on each leg. If you need to hold onto something to start off with, make sure it’s something sturdy.

Related Video:

Plantar Fasciitis Stretches & Exercises

Peripheral Neuropathy Relief in the Feet & Legs

Peripheral neuropathy is basically when you have damage to your peripheral nerves from either a trauma or disease. This can cause your hands and/or feet become numb and tingly. I'll focus on the feet/legs for this video.

Peripheral neuropathy can be caused from diabetes, medications, or even chemotherapy, as well as many other things. Having good flexibility and strength in these areas will help.

The first stretch will be a calf stretch. Sit on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. You can bend the leg you are not stretching towards you. Put a belt, towel, or dog leash around the ball of your foot. Keep your back and knee straight, and relax your ankle. Pull your foot towards you with the strap until you feel a stretch. Hold this for 30 seconds, and do it three times on each side.

Next are ankle pumps. With your legs straight out in front of you, place a roll just under your ankle so your heel can move freely. Trying to keep your leg straight and moving only at your ankle, pull your foot up towards you, and then push it down like you are pushing on a peddle. Then you will do ankle circles. Again, try not to move your whole leg. Keep the movement at the ankle. Do ten one direction, and then reverse it and do ten the other direction.

Now you will do a simple straight leg raise (SLR). You want to squeeze your muscles tight to lock out the knee and pull your toes towards your head to keep the whole leg straight. This will work your hip flexor muscles when you lift your leg off the ground. Use slow controlled movements to make sure you are using the muscles and not momentum. Start off with ten, and work your way up.

Then, you are going to lie on your side. The top leg is going to stay straight and pull your toes up towards you. Keep your body in a straight line as well. This is going to work your hip abductor muscles. Then you are going to work the bottom leg working your hip adductor muscles. Same as above, keep the leg straight. Start with ten of each of these, and do both sides.

In standing, you will do a heel/toe raise off the ground. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, come up on your toes as high as you can. Try not to lean forward, but bring your body straight up and slowly come back down. Push off as much as you can so your heel leaves the ground. Then lift your toes off the ground, alternating back and forth. Start off with ten and work your way up to 20-25.

The last exercise will be a balance series. Stand on one foot, but hold onto something sturdy. Try to balance for 30 seconds to a minute. When that becomes easy, just use one finger one each side. Then just one finger for balance, and finally try balancing without holding on at all.

Related Videos:

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Balance Exercises for Fall Prevention

These balance exercises for fall prevention have a lot to do with the strength of your hips and ankles. When they are weak and not flexible, we are at a higher risk of falling.

These stretches and exercises should help with balance and fall prevention.

The first stretch is a calf stretch. You can check out the calf stretching video for several other ways to stretch. You want to lean against a wall or something sturdy. Place the foot you want to stretch behind you. Make sure to keep your heel down and your toes forward pointing towards the wall. With the other foot in front of you, like you are in a lunge position, bend your knee towards the wall until you feel a stretch through your back leg. Try to keep your back leg as straight as possible. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do it three times. 

Next you will balance on one foot. Try to look at something straight in front of you, and try not to look down at your feet. Start off with 10-15 seconds, and do it three times on each leg. The next standing balance exercise is tandem stance. This is with one foot directly in front of the other like you are standing on a tight rope. If that is easy, move your head from side to side, and up and down. If you feel really good, try closing your eyes. Make sure to switch your feet.

Finally, you will do heel raises. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, come up on your toes as high as you can. Try not to lean forward, but bring your body straight up and slowly come back down. Push off as much as you can so your heel leaves the ground. Start off with ten and work your way up to 20-25. If that becomes easy, you can do one leg at a time.

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