Foot Exercises to Alleviate Pain

Foot Exercises to Alleviate Pain

Foot pain is a common and natural consequence for those who stand for long periods of time. Most cases are not severe, however the discomfort can affect daily life immensely. People with jobs that require standing for hours on end–such as servers, teachers, and nurses–will experience some sort of foot pain. Luckily, you can practice simple stretches and exercises to keep your feet healthy, and to alleviate, even prevent, pain. These exercises can be done at-home or any place you are idle.

Toe Stretching

This exercise requires you to be barefoot and sitting in a chair. You start off by crossing one leg over your thigh for support. You will then interlace your fingers between your toes. Then, squeeze your fingers and toes together, holding for around 10 seconds, proceeding to stretch them for an additional 10 seconds. You should repeat this stretch at least three times with each foot.

Toe Pointing

This simple exercise requires you to raise one foot and pull the toes downward into a deep foot stretch by pointing your toe like a ballerina, then flexing the foot back. You should repeat this process with both feet. Not only will this easy exercise improve blood circulation, it will also relieve aches by stretching out the smaller muscles in your foot.

Heel Raises

Raising your heels will relieve toe cramps and strengthen calf muscles. Start by standing and lifting up off your heels until you are standing on the balls of your feet and toes. Hold this position for 10 seconds before releasing the heels down to the ground. Repeat 10 times. This exercise is recommended for anyone who stands for many hours in constricting footwear.

Arch Massage

This exercise requires a tennis ball or golf ball. Stand with the tennis ball directly under the second toe of your foot and slowly roll the ball around the sole for 1 to 3 minutes, repeating for the next foot. The pressure should be light; massaging the arches of your feet will help with cramps, arch pains, and heel pains.

Standing Stretch

This stretch is often practiced by athletes such as runners. Stand facing a wall and prop your toe against it. Lean forward gently until you feel the arch stretch. Hold and repeat for both feet. Not only will this stretch out the arch of your foot, it will also stretch your calf muscles.

Towel Pick-up

A fun exercise to practice is towel picking. You will need to be sitting in a chair with a small hand towel placed on the ground below your foot. While keeping the heel on the ground, try to pick up the towel by scrunching it between the toes. You should repeat this 10-20 times for each foot. If a towel is too easy, replace it with something of added weight.

Foot Massage

Finally, a good foot rub always does the trick. If you do not have someone to massage your foot, you can easily do it yourself. Start at your toes, using your thumbs to massage them in circular motions. Gradually move down toward the arch under your foot and work down to the heel. Apply pressure with your fingers and palm as you do this. Applying lotion can allow your hands to move smoothly over your foot.

Overall, most foot pains are temporary and can easily be alleviated with simple stretches and exercises that you can do almost anywhere at anytime. Your feet are subject to constant pressure, so be sure to give it the rest and relaxation that it deserves.


3 Foot Stretches To Help You Walk Without Pain. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2016, from

At-Home Foot Exercises. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2016, from

Exercises to manage foot pain. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2016, from

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