Stiff Feet. What can Be done?


“My feet feel like two blocks of wood” is the phrase I’ve heard over the years. Stiff feet can have a dramatic negative effect on daily living. stiff feet not only can be painful and limiting but can have consequences on our work and social lives.

What can you do?

  1. Mobility exercises: These consist of both stretching and strengthening. A weak muscle tends to be tight and just stretching may not bring a better resting tension. In this case it is the smaller muscles of the feet that may be tight and limiting proper foot mechanics thus resulting in stiff feet. A daily routine of only 5-10 minutes would go a long way in restring foot pliability. 
  2. Foot massage: Massage your feet regularly, focusing on the arches, heels, and balls of your feet. You can use your hands, a massage ball, or a foot roller to help relax the muscles and improve circulation. Get your partner involved with some olive oil (to reduce friction) while watching Netflix and you can always return favor. 
  3. Warm foot soak: Soaking your feet in warm water for about 5-10 minutes can help relax the muscles and reduce stiffness. Add Epsom salt and/ essential oils like lavender for added relaxation. Increased tissue temperature is extremely therapeutic and is why I rarely if ever endorse cold therapy.
  4. Footwear and orthotics: Ensure you’re wearing comfortable and supportive shoes that fit properly. The most common issue i see regarding stiff feet are chronic use of foot ware that are too small. The second, would be always wearing shoes, even when home and around the house. Just imagine if you wore oven mitts all the time and how stiff your hands would be. This is not to imply to switch over to crocs and sandals but instead get properly fitted and wear something more lose around the house if possible.
  5. Gentle Exercise: Engage in low-impact activities like walking, swimming, or cycling to promote blood flow and strengthen the muscles in your feet and legs.
  6. Rest and elevation: Give your feet regular breaks by elevating them above heart level. This can help reduce swelling and alleviate pressure.
  7. Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water can help keep your muscles and joints hydrated, which may improve overall flexibility and reduce stiffness. just be conscious not to force the water into you. Sodium/ salt follows water out with the urine so in hot/humid climates or during profuse sweating it would be wise to pay attention to your cravings for salty foods. Don’t ignore cravings.

Remember, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional or physical therapist for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan if your foot stiffness persists or worsens

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