There are many stretches and exercises that one could do to open the feet and make them stronger, but often what they need most is a massage. I'm not talking about a heavy-handed, tissue-tearing kind of massage, but some gentle work to soothe our over-worked and under-appreciated soles.
One thing a massage does for the feet is it warms them. We don't often think about this, but the feet are the farthest parts of our bodies from our hearts. They can easily become too cold and stiff. A gentle massage helps to warm them.
This month, try spending three minutes per day massaging each foot. Massage the heels, the mid-foot, the balls of the feet, and each toe. Use a little oil to do this and put socks on afterward so that you don't track oil all over your house.
See what happens to your entire body by tending your feet. Ankle pain, knee pain, hip pain, and low back pain can all be significantly related to the feet. Massaging the feet can do a lot for those problems. But even problems from higher up, even neck, shoulder, and forearm problems, can all be rooted in the root of the body: the feet.
Dr. Jake Caldwell, DPT
I have a doctorate degree in physical therapy, an advanced certification in Functional Manual Therapy™, a bachelor’s degree in biology, a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and a bachelor’s degree in history. I draw from these diverse fields in my approach to working with the body.