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TORONTO CHIROPODIST, D.Ch., B.Sc., PODIATRIC MEDICINE

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Posts for tag: foot stretches

 

Before beginning any exercise regimen, proper stretching is essential. If muscles are properly warmed up, the strain on muscles, tendons, and joints is reduced.

Stretching exercises should take 5 to 10 minutes and ought to be conducted in a stretch/hold/relax pattern without any bouncing or pulling. It is important to stretch the propulsion muscles in the back of the leg and thigh (posterior) as well as the anterior muscles.

Some effective stretching exercises to prepare the foot and ankle for exercise include:

  • The wall push-up. Face a wall from three feet away, with feet flat on the floor, and knees locked. Lean into the wall, keeping feet on the floor and hold for 10 seconds as the calf muscle stretches, then relax. Do not bounce. Repeat five times.
  • The hamstring stretch. Put your foot, with knee straight and locked, on a chair or table. Keep the other leg straight with knee locked. Lower your head toward the raised knee until the muscles tighten. Hold to a count of 10 then relax. Repeat five times, then switch to the other leg.
  • Lower back stretch. In a standing position, keep both legs straight, feet spread slightly. Bend over at the waist and attempt to touch the palms of your hands to the floor. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times. Do not bounce.

Excessive tightness of the calf muscles can contribute to many foot and some knee problems. A key point of injury is the Achilles tendon, which attaches the calf muscle to the back of the heel. When the calf muscle tightens up, it limits the movement of the ankle joint. 

Calf muscle stretching is very useful in the prevention and treatment of many foot problems. Two typical methods for stretching your calf muscles include the wall push-up (described above) and this technique: Standing approximately two feet from a wall. While facing the wall, turn your feet inward ("pigeon toed") and lean forward into the wall, keeping your heels on the floor and the knees extended. Keep your back straight and don't bend at the hips. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and do the stretch 10 times in a row.

 

ALWAYS THINK IN TERMS OF CORRECTING THE ABNORMAL BIOMECHANICS.  THIS IS WHERE EXERCISE THERAPY COMES IN.  THE MOST REMEDIAL EXERCISES TO PRESCRIBE ARE STRETCHES AND SIMPLE ROUTINES THAT PREPARE THE FOOT FOR MOVEMENT:

1. ROTATIONAL HAMSTRING STRETCH: STAND WITH YOUR WEIGHT ON YOUR LEFT FOOT AQND PLACE YOUR RIGHT HEEL ON A TABLE OR BENCH AT OR NEAR WAIST HEIGHT.  FACE STRAIGHT FORWARD WITH YOUR UPPER BODY AND KEEP BOTH LEGS NEARLY STRAIGHT.  AS YOU STAND WITH YOUR RIGHT HEEL ON THE TABLE AND YOUR LEFT FOOT ON THE GROUND, ROTATE YOUR LEFT FOOT FORWARD (TO THE LEFT) APPROXIMATELY 45 DEGREES, KEEPING YOUR BODY WEIGHT ON THE FULL SURFACE OF YOUR LEFT FOOT (BOTH HEEL AND TOES ARE IN CONTACT WITH THE GROUND).  YOU ARE NOW READY TO BEGIN THE STRETCH.

LEAN FORWARD WITH YOUR NAVEL AND SHOULDERS UNTIL YOU FEEL THE STEADY TENSION (STRETCH) IN THE HAMSTRING OF YOUR RIGHT LEG.  DON'T INCREASE THE STRETCH TO THE POINT OF PAIN OR SEVERE DISCOMFORT, BUT DO MAINTAIN AN EXTENSIVE STRETCH IN YOUR RIGHT HAMSTRING WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY ROTATING YOUR RIGHT LEG IN A CLOCKWISE DIRECTION FOR 20 REPETITIONS.  AS YOU MOVE THE RIGHT LEG IN A CLOCKWISE DIRECTION, STAY RELAXED AND KEEP YOUR MOVEMENTS SLOW AND UNDER CONTROL.

AFTER THE 20 REPS, REVOVE YOUR RIGHT LEG FROM THE TABLE AND REST FOR A MOMENT.  THEN LIFT YOUR RIGHT LEG UP ON THE TABLE AND REPEAT THIS CLOCKWISE AND COUNTERCLOCKWISE STRETCH OF THE RIGHT HAMSTRING, BUT THIS TIME KEEP THE LEFT (SUPPORT) FOOT ROTATED INWARD (TO THE RIGHT) APPROXIMATELY 10 DEGREES AS YOU CARRY OUT THE APPROPRIATE MOVEMENTS.  PERFORM 20 REPETITIONS (CLOCKWISE AND COUNTERCLOCKWISE) BEFORE RESTING.

FINALLY, REPEAT THE ENTIRE SEQUENCE OF STRETCHES, BUT THIS TIME HAVE THE RIGHT FOOT IN SUPPORT AND THE LEFT FOOT ON THE TABLE FOR THE REPETITIONS (DO 20 CLOCKWISE REPS WITH THE LEFT FOOT ON THE TABLE AND THE RIGHT [SUPPORT) FOOT TURNED OUT 45 DEGREES, AND 20 MORE WITH THE RIGHT FOOT TURNED IN).  THE ROTATIONAL HAMSTRING STRETCH ENSURES HAMSTRING FLEXIBILITY IS DEVELOPED IN THE TRANSVERSE PLANE AS WELL AS THE SAGITTAL PLANE.

TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW.  BROUGHT TO YOU BY YOUR TORONTO CHIROPODIST AND TORONTO FOOT SPECIALIST, MARZ HARDY, D.Ch., B.Sc., PODIATRIC MEDICINE AND THE TEAM FROM ACADEMY FOOT AND ORTHOTIC CLINICS

 



Academy Clinics has a special interest in high quality custom orthotics.

 

416-465-8737

Toronto, ON Chiropodist
Academy Foot and Orthotic

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Toronto, ON M4K 2P1 

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FOOT CLINIC

CHIROPODIST / FOOT SPECIALIST,  B.Sc. PODIATRIC MEDICINE / ACADEMY FOOT & ORTHOTIC CLINICS, 752 Broadview Ave , Toronto ON, M4K 2P1 416-465-8737