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Foot Strengthening Exercises

Posted by BarbJ on 3/08/99 at 00:00 (005369)

I also am doing strenthening exercises for my feet for about the last two months. I am seeing a benefit in foot strength and flexibility but no relief of pf yet. My ortho guy swears this is the route to complete healing. I decided this weekend to try and fit into my schedule at least two trips to the pool per week either for water aerobics or lap swim. So many people recommend this not only for pf but also for losing weight that I am convinced to try it too. Thanks so much for posting. It's wonderful to hear what works for others and that there is always hope that something will work eventually. For most of us it seems to be a matter of persistence and perseverence! This board really keeps me going...

Re: Foot Strengthening Exercises

Mira y on 3/10/99 at 00:00 (005423)

Hi I am new to this board and the internet generally. My condition has been with me for years! Complicated by a degenerative genetic joint (big toe) condition. I think my walking became wonky because of my overcompensating for the joint pain. I had surgery for the joint problem 2 years ago. It helped alot, but my pf is much worse now. I've tried many othotics/inserts. YOu mention exercise in the pool. I am wondering what exact exercises you are doing and whether there is something theraputic about the water or whether they can be done on dry land?

Re: Foot Strengthening Exercises

Dorothy on 3/10/99 at 00:00 (005434)

Mira - I think there is something therapeutic about the pool because after swimming for 30 minutes everything -- even your feet -- is loosened up.

HOWEVER, having said that, I believe that anything that makes your feet and legs stronger will help and you can do that on dry land. Get a book from the library and have a look at stretches that go to the foot -- hamstring stretches work. I saw someplace on this message board instructions for standing on a step with the front half of your foot on the step and the back half hanging off. (Of course hold on to the railing). Then just hold that for a while. Start off by counting to 10 and then keep working up. I don't know why but this helps and I hope the description makes sense.

My favorite is just to put my fingers on the edge of the pool and stand up on my toes and down and up and down, etc. I started out with six and now do 30 or 35. You can hold on to the back of a chair, but make sure to use the chair only to maintain balance -- you're working on your feet and legs, not on your arms.

This won't work on its own but might help in combination with everything else. (I even considered acupuncture, but was told it probably wouldn't help)

I was swimming 5 times a week at the time I started this. Now I swim 3 times a week and do the treadmill for 30 minutes 3 times a week. I also walk a lot just 'around town.'

Good luck.


Re: Foot Strengthening Exercises

beej on 12/02/98 at 00:00 (002473)

The first exercise is to stand on one foot (holding onto something like a chairback) and raise yourself onto your toes 30 times each foot. (Work up to this if you have to)
The next exercise is to sit in a chair, extend your leg and foot then point your toes. Try to curl your toes at the same time and bend your ankle so your toes point inward. If (when) the cramp starts, just back off a little and when the cramp goes away try to get back to where you were before it started cramping. Hold this pose for 30 seconds either each foot or both feet at the same time.
Then do the calf stretching for at least 30 second each calf.
Supposed to do these as many times a day as you want/can.
A friend at work says he also does the first exercise on both feet at the same time and then points his toes in and does them and then points his toes out and does them. Hope this helps you. Best, Barbara

Re: Foot Strengthening Exercises

Susie on 12/04/98 at 00:00 (002508)

Thanks, Barbara for those exercises. I shall do those and I think I will try walking barefoot on grass at the park, being very careful how I place my foot. Thanks again. Susie

Re: Foot Strengthening Exercises

Mira y on 3/10/99 at 00:00 (005423)

Hi I am new to this board and the internet generally. My condition has been with me for years! Complicated by a degenerative genetic joint (big toe) condition. I think my walking became wonky because of my overcompensating for the joint pain. I had surgery for the joint problem 2 years ago. It helped alot, but my pf is much worse now. I've tried many othotics/inserts. YOu mention exercise in the pool. I am wondering what exact exercises you are doing and whether there is something theraputic about the water or whether they can be done on dry land?

Re: Foot Strengthening Exercises

Dorothy on 3/10/99 at 00:00 (005434)

Mira - I think there is something therapeutic about the pool because after swimming for 30 minutes everything -- even your feet -- is loosened up.

HOWEVER, having said that, I believe that anything that makes your feet and legs stronger will help and you can do that on dry land. Get a book from the library and have a look at stretches that go to the foot -- hamstring stretches work. I saw someplace on this message board instructions for standing on a step with the front half of your foot on the step and the back half hanging off. (Of course hold on to the railing). Then just hold that for a while. Start off by counting to 10 and then keep working up. I don't know why but this helps and I hope the description makes sense.

My favorite is just to put my fingers on the edge of the pool and stand up on my toes and down and up and down, etc. I started out with six and now do 30 or 35. You can hold on to the back of a chair, but make sure to use the chair only to maintain balance -- you're working on your feet and legs, not on your arms.

This won't work on its own but might help in combination with everything else. (I even considered acupuncture, but was told it probably wouldn't help)

I was swimming 5 times a week at the time I started this. Now I swim 3 times a week and do the treadmill for 30 minutes 3 times a week. I also walk a lot just 'around town.'

Good luck.