In this edition of EmpowHER's "HER Health Expert", Dr. Suzanne Levine discusses exercises that women can do to strengthen the muscles in their feet and relieve foot pain.
EmpowHER: You may spend time at the gym, but do you ever take the time to exercise your feet?
Dr. Levine: There are 38 intrinsic muscles in the foot, little tiny muscles which never get worked on, even wearing sneakers you are not exercising those little muscles, so it’s a good idea every once in awhile to take your shoes off, and try to pick up those marbles.
EmpowHER: That’s right – picking up marbles with your feet will strengthen those foot muscles, and could help prevent foot problems down the road. Dr. Levine says another great foot exercise is rolling a soda can back and forth under your foot.
Dr. Levine: “You are actually strengthening the arch of the foot and strengthening the Achilles at the same time in the planter fascia.”
EmpowHER: If you are prone to shin splints, try the foot press. Just pretend you are pressing an imaginary gas pedal, and you will get the motion. This exercise will help strengthen the front shin area of your lower leg. If you suffer from Achilles tendon pain, simple Achilles stretching can go a long ways. Simply turning your feet in and out will help those with arch problems. And spreading your toes can help strengthen your foot joints too. Finally, try spelling out the alphabet with your feet.
Dr. Levine: “A, B,C, D, so you are actually going through different motions, so you are actually using and lubricating the joints.”
EmpowHER: Simple, sweat free exercises you can do at work, to help make that walk pain free.