Your toe bone’s connected to your heel bone, your heel bone’s connected to your leg bone, your leg bone’s connected to your thigh bone… we all remember how the song goes. It’s such a silly song, but it did teach you one really important thing: all our bones are connected to one another.
Which is why when one thing hurts, all the other things hurt too. Have you ever noticed that a pain that starts in your foot actually hurts all the way up your leg? It’s because everything is connected. Particularly in your feet.
Foot pain can be caused by so many things – there’s a list of over 25! That includes things like: arthritis, bunions, athlete’s foot, overlapping toes, corns, ingrown toenails and heel spurs. All of these things can cause discomfort of some kind.
Have you ever noticed how many things are linked to the feet? Chinese reflexology has been around for millennia, and centers on the belief that your feet are the source of your health. Then there many different detox footbaths – based on the belief that your feet are the best place to draw toxins out through.
Foot Pain Solutions
Probably the least drastic of your choices to ease foot pain is to start stretches. Foot stretches are so easy to accomplish and you can do them in about 5 minutes – all while eating your breakfast.
The Toe Raise
Lift your toes. It doesn’t sound hard, but it can be incredibly difficult for some people to do. Stand with your feet and lift all of your toes upward. Your pinky toe should rise the same way and the same height as your big toe. Do this five times for each foot.
So while you’re still in Toe Raise, lower just your big toe. Keep those other ones up. This can be really hard, but “smart” feet are stronger and more balanced. If you can press your big toe down, try pressing just your pinky toe down instead. Alternate. 5 for each toe on each foot.
Standing, rock your weight to the outside of your foot, lifting your weight off the inside of your foot. Then rock inward until your weight is resting on the inside of your foot. Do both feet at the same time and do each side 10 times.
Get a stretchy exercise ball and loop it around a chair leg or table. Hook your foot through it, so the ball of your foot rests against the band. Then press your toes toward to the ground – you’ll feel the stretch. Repeat this 15 times.
Tennis Ball Rub
Step onto a tennis ball and roll it under your feet, applying gentle pressure. Do this to both feet. When you’re done, tilt your foot so your toes point toward your knee. Then stretch out your toes so they point directly down.
Toes and Fingers
Sit with your legs in front out you, toes pointing up at the ceiling. Lean forward and lace your fingers with your toes, then pull gently back. This might be a bit tricky. If you can’t do both feet try one foot at a time.
These can be tricky, give them time. It can be hard to get back into the swing of things, particularly if you haven’t really had foot flexibility since you were a child.
Other Foot Tips
These are other foot care tips that can help restore balance, health and strength to your legs.
- Try yoga. Yoga is a great way to ground your body, the source for almost all yoga poses is grounded feet. In yoga you will learn to truly root your feet, restoring balance to your body, but also to your mental state.
- Walk barefoot outside. This is called earthing and you can find its health benefits here. Your feet are designed to be flexible, they grew to grip uneven surfaces – that’s why we have toes. If you don’t have a backyard, you can get shoes with individual toes – they look silly, but can do wonders for your feet.
- Soak in Epsom Salts. I talked about this earlier, but Epsom salts can help you detoxify your feet. They’re also a great way to boost your magnesium intake (you may have a deficiency).
- Choose Proper Footwear. This one is hard for some ladies. Choosing comfortable shoes often means forgoing the cute ones – ditch high heels entirely. Avoid constricting your toes completely. Choose shoes appropriate for your foot width. Lose the flipflops (the grippy action they make your feet do is actually really bad for your feet!). Choose shoes that breath – like leather or mesh and choose shoes that have good arch support.
- Go see a specialist. If your foot pain keeps up, go see a doctor. Maybe get custom orthotics, which can be expensive, but make you feel like your feet are on clouds.
Take good care of your feet, particularly if you’re diabetic. Foot health is crucial to your overall health – so don’t ignore them.
Anything else you want to read about? Let me know in the comments!