When you can’t fall asleep at night, your chest pains won’t relax, and those bad headaches won’t go away, you should think about lowering your stress levels. Turns out, stress is pretty bad for you—including your toes! Seventy-two percent of Americans said their stress level has increased or stayed the same, according to the American Psychological Association’s 2012 Stress in America survey. These stretches for stiff toes should help you remove some tension from your feet.
It is actually pretty important to stretch your toes. After all, these vital parts of your foot help keep your balance and allow you to push off faster if you want to increase your walking or running speed. The flexibility, strength, and range of motion that comes with stretching can help stave off the progression of hammertoes, claw toes, and other deformities that happen as side effects when your foot doesn’t perform a full range of motion when it hits the ground.
All of these stretches can be done while sitting in a chair. First, take a towel and put it on the ground underneath your foot. Keeping your heel on the ground, grab the towel with your toes and scrunch the towel towards you. Do three sets of 20 reps. For the second stretch, put your foot on top of a book with your toes dangling off the edge. Curl the toes to the floor and hold for one second. Repeat 10 times.
The last stretch involves a fun prop to make your stretching a little whimsical—we’re talking about marbles and Legos! Simply pick up 10 marbles or Legos, one by one, using your toes. Complete three sets of 20 reps.
Stretches for stiff toes don’t have to make you uptight; you can find ways to take stress off your feet without getting stressed out. For more advice on foot conditions, call the McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group at (916) 961-3434, where Dr. Brian McDowell and Dr. Gavin P. Ripp provide expert care! Their office in Carmichael, CA, is also on Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.