These Bad Workout Habits Can Cause Foot Pain, but We Have 3 Stretches That'll Help
Skipping the leg-stretching portion of your workout or exercising with worn-down sneakers can seem like no big deal, but your feet beg to differ. Without pre- and post-workout stretches, your calves tighten up — and poor shoe cushioning and support can cause tightness and inflammation in your joints from increased force and instability, said Karena Wu, DPT, CSCS, and the owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy. Both of these factors cause foot pain — and more.
"Sore feet can lead to more serious injuries if standing and moving on the sore feet create compensations. If you experience soreness or pain, the body will try to reduce forces through the painful area, which can lead to muscle imbalances," Wu said.
If you're thinking, "Well, that escalated quickly," take a deep breath. With permission from your doctor, it's not too late to start reversing the bad habits you've formed. Wu said mobility in the foot is really important when helping to relieve foot pain. "The lower leg does a lot of work and carries the entire body when standing. Keeping the soft tissues and joints moving to reduce stresses in the area allows for proper circulation and muscle function [needed] to participate in many activities of daily living," she said.
While we can't send every one of you a new pair of kicks (sorry, I wish!), we can start you off with some stretches courtesy of Wu for during your workouts or when pain strikes.