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Posted by Carmen on 4/11/02 at 15:41 (079305)

Found these and thought they may be useful for some of us.


Gastroc stretch: Stand on the edge of a step. Rise slowly on your toes. Lower yourself slowly as far as you can until you feel a stretch in your calf. Don't roll your foot inward or outward. Hold for 1-2 seconds. Reps:10-20 (stop before you fatigue).

Soleus stretch: Same as above, but start with your knee bent so that you feel a slight stretch in your calf or achilles. Maintain the angle of your knee throughout the stretch.

Bicycle stretch: Lie on your side. Keeping your top leg straight, bring your knee toward your nose until you feel a slight stretch in the hamstring. Maintaining this angle at your hip, start pretending you are pedalling a bicycle with the top leg. Make sure you feel a slight stretch each time your knee is straight. Reps: 10-30 for each leg.

If you feel any pops or clicks in your hip or back, try raising the top leg a little (making the thighs further apart) to eliminate the popping.

Foot Intrinsic Exercises

Assisted metatarsal head raising: Sit in a chair. Find the bumps at the ball of your foot just before your big toe and just before the little toe. These are the first (big toe) and fifth (little toe) metatarsal heads. Place your second and third fingers from one hand under the first metatarsal head, and the second and third fingers from the other hand under the fifth metatarsal head. Now lay the thumbs from each hand in a diagonal across your toes so that they form a right angle meeting at the nail of the second toe. Your hands are now in position to assist your toes.

Keep your toes straight, with the toe pads on the floor. Use your fingers to help raise all the metatarsal heads (the ball of your foot). Do not let your toes curl under keep them long. Now relax. Reps: 7-10 for each foot.

As this exercise gets easier, let your fingers do less of the work until your toes can do the exercise unassisted. This can take up to three weeks. When your strength has improved to this point, you can progress to the following three exercises, which are best done in stocking feet on a slippery floor.

Active metatarsal head raising: Stand with your weight on both feet. Raise your metatarsal heads (the ball of your foot) while keeping your toes from curling under and maintaining your heel on the ground. Relax. Reps: 6-7. Do one foot at a time.

If you do more reps than you are ready for, you may well develop cramping in your foot. I once had a client who thought if seven reps were good, 10 were better. For good measure, she did the 10 reps 10 times in a day, and then she was unable to walk the next day from having used a set of muscles she had never exercised before. Please don't overdo it.

If you can do the previous exercises, you are ready for the next two.

Inchworm: Stand with your weight on one foot. Raise the metatarsal heads of the unweighted foot while you pull its heel closer to your toes. Next, raise your toes toward the ceiling, and then relax your whole foot with it flat on the floor. Your foot should move like an inchworm across the floor. Reps: 6-7 for each foot.

Horsepawing: Stand with your weight on one foot and the other foot slightly in front of you. Raise the metatarsal heads on the front foot. Lift your heel ever so slightly off the ground, maintaining the raised metatarsal heads, and pull your foot toward you so that it ends up behind you. Return this foot to the starting position in front of you. You should really feel this one in your arch.

Reps: 6-7 for each foot.

Toe pushups: Sit in a chair with your feet resting on the floor. Raise your heel as high as you can while keeping your toes flat on the floor. This is the starting position. Using your toe muscles, roll your foot upward until the weight of your foot is resting on the ends of your toes, like a dancer standing on point in toe shoes. Roll back down to the starting position. Reps: 10-20 for each foot.

Ankle-Strengthening Exercises

Sand scraping: Pretend you are at the beach standing in loose sand. Use your big toe to pull sand inward toward your body, with your little toe off the ground. Then use your little toe to push it away, with your big toe off the ground. Reps: 10 for each foot. Now reverse the exercise: pull the sand inward with your little toe and push it away with your big toe. Reps: 10 for each foot.

The next three exercises start without any weight. When you get to 30-50 reps without pain, use a one-pound weight and drop your reps to 10-15. Gradually work back up to 30-50 pain-free reps. Move up to a two-pound weight and drop your reps back to 10-15. If you develop a sharp pain, stop. If you have gradually increasing pain along the outside or inside of your lower leg, stop for a few days. When you resume, drop your reps to the number you can do without pain.

You can make an inexpensive weight by taking an old sock and filling it with one pound of rice, beans, or sand. Tie off the end of the sock. Pin it around your foot just above your toes.

Ankle evertor strengthening: Lie on your side with your feet hanging off the end of your bed or a weight bench. Bend the toes of the foot that is closer to the ceiling slightly toward your head. This is the starting position. Now raise your toes toward the ceiling while keeping the rest of your leg stationary. Return to the starting position. Reps: 10-15. Now point your toes slightly away from your head. This is the starting position. Raise your toes toward the ceiling. Return to the starting position. Reps: 10-15.

Ankle invertor strengthening: Same as above, but do the exercises with the foot that is closer to the floor.

Dorsiflexor strengthening: Sit on a desk, table, or counter so that your feet don't touch the ground. Let your feet dangle comfortably. Bend your foot upward as far as you can comfortably go. Do not let your foot pull inward or outward. Return to the starting position. Reps: 10-15.

Re: Stretches

Kim on 4/07/05 at 19:30 (172802)

Saw the stretches on board ask the foot Doctors. Was wandering if the stretches for foot yoga & P.F. be the same for TTS?