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An Exercise

Posted by Dorothy on 8/06/04 at 00:06 (157042)

I don't recall with certainty who gave us this exercise. I think it was Marty who gave it or who led us to it - but I have been doing it periodically ever since it was posted here and I think it's a good one and should be/could be used along with the yoga exercises that Julie gave.
The exercise was this: place the feet flat on the floor. Raise just the toes. Then keeping just the Great Toe (or, just average toe, in many cases) in the raised position, lower the other four together to the floor. Repeat a few times. Then do just the opposite. Keep the four-toes raised while lowering the Great Toe to the floor. Repeat a few times.

Here's another tip I've been doing. Years ago I purchased a set of ankle weights. They are heavy solid metal rods about 6 inches long and maybe an inch in diameter. They were actually to be placed into the pockets of an ankle weight cuff if you know what I mean. I haven't used them as ankle weights for a while but I use them for foot rollers and they are great. First, they are very sturdy and can take some pressure. I think I actually do a combination stretch and 'knot'/scar tissue break-up (if this process is real) when I roll and use pressure. Second, the metal is cool and is soothing sometimes with that slight cool-ness. Third, they are portable, easy to use, and small-ish.

Hope this info. is helpful to others.

Re: An Exercise

Julie on 8/06/04 at 00:47 (157043)

That is a good strengthening exercise, Dorothy.

A tip, for those who find they 'can't do it'. Lots of people can't at first, because the muscles that 'do it' are weak. That's what the exercise is for, so the remedy is perseverance. Everyone can do it eventually, once the muscles are stronger.

Re: An Exercise

Marty from SLC on 8/06/04 at 15:05 (157082)

I have been doing it since i posted it but at this point i can't say if it's helping? It was really hard for my at first to do it because my brain didn't know how to just raise the 4 toes on my left foot but I'm proud to say can do it with ease now. :)


Re: An Exercise

lauriel on 8/06/04 at 17:23 (157098)

anohter one someone psoted here, and you are right marty its hard getting your brina to figure out the excersises. this one you have your feet flat in the floor andkeeping your feet flat slide you toes toward your heel, keeping your toas on the floor and your arch then rises as you do this. I Have been dong this one for awhile. I like it beeter than the one where yougrab a towel with your toes


Re: An Exercise

Jeff L. on 8/06/04 at 23:49 (157121)

Dorothy,What are you diagnosed with ? I'm trying to find some answers to what I have and what I can do to help. (email removed), if you want.

Re: An Exercise

Julie on 8/07/04 at 00:30 (157123)

There you are, Marty - you've proved my point. And it really is worth persevering with, and whether or not it relieves your symptoms it will help long term, because it will strengthen the intrinsic muscles of your feet.

My students always have fun with this exercise - most of them have difficulty with it at first, and a real sense of accomplishment when they 'get it'.

Re: An Exercise

Julie on 8/07/04 at 00:37 (157124)

Lauriel, I'm glad you can do this one - another excellent strengthener for the foot muscles. It exercises different muscles from the towel-grabbing one, and is a good deal more useful.

Re: An Exercise

Dorothy on 8/07/04 at 01:33 (157125)

Plantars fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis/tendinitis and history of back problems and sciatica that, for the time being, are at a tolerable level but seem to have a mind of their own. This is just my opinion but I think that exercise in a variety of forms is key: strengthening, stretching, flexibility; doing what is needed for good circulation, getting/keeping weight down; relaxation of body and 'spirit'; good nutrition with appropriate supplements; excellent footwear for support and cushioning; rest is important along with heat/cold treatment (ice, heating pads, hot/cold water baths for feet,cold packs, etc.) but I have come to believe that many here have advocated too much rest for too long a time and that after a period of rest and ongoing intermittent rest periods, one needs to move the body and feet to the greatest extent possible - but not in ways that will keep it injured, but instead finding ways to move that do not re-injure or disrupt healing. If you have not already done so, you should do two things on this website: look on the menu bar below and find 'The Book'. It is a free publication about foot problems and treatments and is an excellent place to start. I think another good place to learn is to read through postings here from various participants; you can go back as far as you care to and glean a lot of information. People have favorite products and favorite shoes and favorite methods but what many folks here will tell you is that, so far, nothing works for everyone all the time. The other thing that most people here will tell you, from lots of experience and observation, is that in most cases, surgery should be the course of last resort, if at all. Some people, maybe most people, do recover from these problems completely; some improve considerably and are able to resume most normal activities; some have these problems to deal with for a long time and find ways to adjust and adapt; some are disabled and debilitated by these problems temporarily or longer. It is very hard to discern what makes the difference. Just about everybody gets 'down' from it and many become depressed to varying degrees and need to find ways to address that side affect so they can address the other health issues. People do that in different ways: this website for support,humor (find it wherever possible), medicine, exercise, meditation, religion/faith/spiritual path are some ways. Just to begin a short list from a long list of various people's 'favorite things' here:
Julie's Yoga stretches
Birkenstock shoes
New Balance shoes
Brooks shoes
Dansko shoes
OTC insoles: PowerStep, SuperFeet
FootTrainers (www.footrainer.com)
ESWT (see this website's category for info on this)
ART (Active Release Therapy); TFM (Transverse Frictional Massage);
AIS (Active Isolated Stretching w/ Aaron Mattes http://www.stretchingusa.com) ;
Yoga, Pilates, Swimming and Water Aerobics.

Ok, this is not an exhaustive list but I am exhausted and so must stop it now. Maybe others will pick up where I left off. Best wishes to you and hopes for better health -

Re: An Exercise

Julie on 8/07/04 at 03:04 (157131)

Dorothy, that is a terrific post: it says so much so cogently.

I would add just two things to your list: taping (instructions in Part 2 of the heel pain book) and custom orthotics. Opinions vary on both, as with all other treatment modalities; both were very helpful to me.

Re: An Exercise

Marty in SLC on 8/07/04 at 14:11 (157156)

i do this too, i feel i can control the mussels better.

Re: An Exercise

Marty in SLC on 8/07/04 at 14:13 (157157)

yes true on both accounts! long term benefit and a sense of accomplishment!!!

Re: An Exercise

Marty in SLC on 8/07/04 at 14:23 (157158)

great post..... one needs to have allot of patients a long term plan in most cases.