If You Have Ankle and Foot Pain....
The main reasons for aches in this region are spending a lot of time on your feet and wearing unsupportive shoes or high heels.
Ankle Circle (shown)
What It Does: Loosens the muscles around the ankle.
How to Do It: Sit comfortably in a chair and place your right ankle on your left knee. Slowly circle the foot clockwise 20 times, then counterclockwise 20 times. Repeat with the left foot.
What It Does: Stretches the muscles along the bottom of the foot, the Achilles tendon, and the calf.
How to Do It: Place the ball of your right foot on a couple of books. If you don't feel a stretch in your calf and Achilles tendon, lean forward until you do. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other foot.
To Prevent It
- Wear shoes that support both the arch of your foot and your ankle.
- Shift your weight when standing. Standing in one position can make you unconsciously hold tension in your lower back.
- Stretch your ankle, calf, and foot muscles first thing in the morning and after wearing high heels for several hours. (See exercises, above.) People who are flat-footed, don't wear shoes with good arch supports, or have to stand for long periods of time are especially prone to plantar fasciitis, a condition in which soft tissues in the arch on the bottom of the foot become inflamed.