Ankle & Foot Pain

5 Best Heel Pain & Heel Spur Treatments

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Heel pain can be caused by a number of things such as heel spurs (or bone spurs), Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis.These treatments should help relieve the pain.

The first treatment is rolling out the bottom of your foot with a frozen water bottle. This not only helps stretch out the fascia underneath your foot, but it also helps decrease inflammation and irritation with the ice.

The next treatment is soft tissue mobilization of the bottom of the foot or your plantar fascia. When the fascia is irritated or inflamed, it can cause heel pain. Often you can feel the adhesions and scar tissue while massaging the foot.

Another great treatment is using a heel insert. The folks at Heel That Pain sent me their heel seats. Their heel seats have extra cushioning and support to help take pressure off the heel and the Achilles tendon. They come in various sizes and are easy to add to your existing shoes.

Next is a runner’s stretch. This will help stretch out your calves and Achilles tendon that could be putting pressure at the heel.

Finally, is a plantar fascia stretch on a step. This is a great way to stretch the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and the calf area. These all can cause heel pain. 

Related Videos:

Plantar Fasciitis Stretches & Exercises

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7 Best Flat Feet Treatments

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Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, can cause a lot of problems in our feet, knees, and hips. Usually there is a little bit of space underneath our feet where the arch is, but when the arch falls, there is no more space and it changes the mechanics of our gait. These flat feet treatments should help.

The first treatment is to roll out the fascia underneath the foot. This is the plantar fascia. It often gets tight and irritated with fallen arches.

Next is an arch lift exercise. You can do this sitting or standing, and it does a great job of exercising and strengthening the muscles in the arch.

Another great treatment is using insoles to help put your foot in a neutral position and protect the arch. The folks at Tread Labs sent me their semi-custom insoles for flat feet, and they have 4 different arch sizes to help provide universal support. The insoles feature medical-grade arch support to maintain alignment and foot position, and the molded supports have a lifetime guarantee.

Now you will do a towel crunch. This is also a great way to strengthen and help prevent fallen arches.

The anterior and posterior tibialis help hold up the arches in our feet. When they are weak, it can make our arches fall. The windshield wiper exercise will help strengthen these muscles.

The final two are standing up. Using a step or curb for the plantar fascia stretch, not only stretches the plantar fascia, but it also stretches the calf muscles. The final exercise is a heel lift. Make sure to go slow and controlled to make the muscles work.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Stretches & Exercises

Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a compression or pinching of the posterior tibial nerve. This can cause symptoms of pain, numbness, and tingling anywhere along the inside of the ankle into the foot. These tarsal tunnel syndrome stretches and exercises should help.

To start off, range of motion of the ankle is a good way to loosen up the area. You can do this with ankle pumps, ankle circles, and eversion/inversion or windshield wipers. 

Next, stretch the calf. You can do this several different ways including with a stretch strap. To help get the inner foot/ankle, you can turn your foot out a little when you stretch.

Then rolling out the bottom of your foot with a lacrosse ball, tennis ball, or racquet ball helps loosen up the fascia and tendons that might be irritated.

Cross friction massage on the tarsal tunnel area also helps increase the circulation to the area to help the healing process.

Exercises standing can be very beneficial to help get the foot/ankle strong again. Heel/toe raises, and balance exercises are great for this.

Related Videos:

Stop Toe Cramps & Foot Cramps

Plantar Fasciitis Stretches & Exercises

Foot Pain Stretches & Exercises with The OH Ball

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Foot pain like plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, high or fallen arches, or just tired and sore feet can be helped with simple stretches and exercises. Rolling a massage ball along the foot is also a great way to relieve pain.

The OH ball and SnOH ball are both massage balls designed to provide targeted relief to painful areas of the body including the feet. They both have integrated handles for easier control, and the SnOH ball has the added benefit of being able to be frozen to provide cooling relief as well.

The Oh Ball does a great job of stretching out the muscles and fascia around the foot and calf area. After you stretch everything out, you want to make sure you are strengthening the muscles in the foot and lower leg as well.

A great way to exercises the calf muscles and the anterior muscles in the lower leg, is to do seated heel/toe raises. This has some weight bearing, but not full weight.

If you have a resistive band, it is another great way to strengthen the muscles, especially on the bottom of your foot and into the lower leg. The toe flexors go underneath the foot into the leg, so it’s important to keep them strong.

Finally, some standing exercises use your full body weight, so they are a little tougher. Start off with standing heel/toe raises. If they are easy, you can do them one foot at a time. Then strengthen the arches of your foot by keeping your heels and toes on the ground, but curl your arch up into a C.

The last one is a balance series. Working on your balance does a great job of strengthening the foot and ankle.

Related Videos:

Plantar Fasciitis Stretches

Plantar Fasciitis Pain Relief

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:

Sprained Ankle Treatment

Lateral Sprained Ankle Stretches

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