By Kristyn Kusek Lewis
Updated: August 17, 2014
RealSimple.com
Jonathan Pozniak

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.

Achilles Stretch

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.
Advertisement