Most of us forget just how important our feet are to our overall sense of comfort, however the truth is that when it comes to maintaining a pain-free active lifestyle, everything starts from the ground up. Although reducing knee pain is a complicated task that involves careful consideration of personal factors, a conversation with your doctor, and often the use of a knee compression sleeve or two, there's also something to be said for the impact that foot exercises can have on the function of your lower body.
Using foot exercises to reduce knee pain is all about improving your balance, helping to strengthen your overall posture, and ensuring you have whatever it takes to keep moving forward day in, day out. The following exercises will help to strengthen your feet, and prevent pain, just make sure to use common sense during your workout.
1. Toe Presses
This is probably the best way to get your feet ready for a workout routine. Just like any other part of the body, the feet muscles need to be properly warmed up before you engage in exercise, and toe presses are a great low-impact way to get your muscles moving. Stand up tall with a slight bend in your knees, and attempt to grip the floor with your toes. You can do this on the edge of a stair or step if that helps.
2. Toe Walking
You don't necessarily need to be a ballerina to do foot exercises to reduce knee pain, but you can use some of their movements in your workout. Toe walking improves the strength of your toe muscles, while improving the function of the muscles and ligaments surrounding the ball of your foot. All you need to do is walk forward for a period of around 20 seconds on the tips of your toes, then rest. Repeat the exercise five more times for great results.
3. Ankle Circles
The mobility and flexibility of your ankles is more important than you might think when it comes to foot exercises to reduce knee pain. Ankles that are restricted or tight force the rest of the body to compensate for them, leading to joint pain. To perform a circle, lie on your back, on the floor, and lift one leg up towards the ceiling. Rotate your ankle clockwise for around ten counts, then counterclockwise for another ten counts. Switch legs and repeat.
4. Toe Pencil Pickups
These simple foot exercises to reduce knee pain can be done almost anywhere, so long as you can take your socks and shoes off. All you need to do, is grab a pen or pencil, and use your toes to grab the item and elevate it away from the ground by a few inches. Hold the item for as long as you can - preferably no less than ten seconds, before you drop it.
5. Resisted Flex
Finally, a great exercise for targeting the hard-to-reach muscles in the foot crucial for maintaining balance, the resisted flex helps to improve strength and reduce injury. Sit on the floor with your feet straight out in front of you, and tie an elastic exercise bandto a reliable surface. Use your foot to pull the band back towards your body until you feel tension.