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Stretches for Runners to Combat Foot and Ankle Pain?

Marathon Runner Top Questions

Catrina and Michael asked similar questions about stretching; both specifically regarding stretches for the feet and ankles to combat pain after long runs.

“Painful feet are caused by a number of reasons. Often times plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the connective tissue of the feet) causes pain in the arches and heels. The reason for this pain is likely tight calf muscles, as tight calves will pull incessantly on the plantar fascia of the feet and cause it to become inflamed," explained Jill Lawson, a respected yoga professional and resident yoga expert for DietsInReview.com. "It is of utmost importance to stretch the calves after a long run, not just once, but several times throughout the day."

To warm up before your stretch, Jill suggests practicing 10 calf raises before stretching. To do so, find a step, stair, or a curb on which to stand. Drop one heel off the back edge until you feel a stretch along the backside of your lower leg. To intensify the stretch, bend your knee. Hold for up to one minute each leg.

For the ankle pain, Jill advises the following.

“When your ankles are sore the morning after a long run, gentle movements before getting out of bed will help tremendously. Lie on your back and raise your right leg toward the ceiling, bringing your hands behind your leg for support. First, flex your foot as if you were standing on it. From this flexed position, invert and evert your ankle several times. Next, point and flex your foot. And last but not least, spread and flex your toes to feel the arches of your feet lift and energize. Switch feet.”

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