We all seem to age from the bottom up. Your feet and ankles get stiff, the calves get weaker, the knees hurt, then the hip, etc. Some of my older sedentary patients walk with absolutely no plantar flexion because they can’t. They cannot get up on their toes. They have to pick up their feet using their hip flexors and they wonder why their back hurts.
Here is how I keep my feet loose and comfortable:
- Every morning I roll my feet out with a LAX ball.
- 3 way heel raises throughout the day
- Work the soleus with wall sit heel raises. This is specific to my own individual right calf weakness. But the soleus is surprisingly a very necessary muscle and does take on a lot of force absorption and arch control in 70 to 90 % of the stance phase of running.
- Find comfortable shoes that allow your foot and toes to spread out. See previous post.
If I had a hard run or if they at sore:
- Roll out the calves. Here are the various ways that you can do that
- Stretch the gastrocsoleus complex, ankle capsule and plantar fascia.
Here is a nice < 2 min video on the process. Thanks Kayla for being a great tech and model.