The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Living With Chronic Arthritic Pain: 6 Daily Foot Exercises To Manage Arthritis Aches

Posted by on Monday, September 9th, 2013


Arthritis is one of the most common complications in people who have broken foot bones in the past. It’s also a leading cause of disability in America, as many people naturally develop arthritis joint inflammation throughout the body as they age. There is no reason to simply suffer through the aches and pains when daily exercises can improve mobility and make you feel much better. In addition to stretching, Everyday Health mentions 10 ways to relieve arthritis foot pain you may not have pondered.

1. Achilles stretch

WebMD recommends that you stand facing a wall, place your palms flat against the surface, and lean in with one foot forward and one foot back. Leave your heels on the floor to stretch out your Achilles tendon and calf muscles. Repeat this arthritis foot exercise three times, holding for 10 seconds each time.

arthritis stretch
Image Source:

2. Toe stretch

Placing a thick rubber band around your big toes, pull them away from each other, toward your other toes. Hold this position for five seconds and repeat 10 times. Following this stretch, you can also place the rubber band around your smaller toes and spread them out, holding the position for five seconds per toe.

3. Toe curl

Try picking up marbles with your toes. Get those piggies wiggling! Who knows… maybe one day you will become a champion toe marble player. At the very least, you’ll work those complex tiny foot bones and prevent stiffness from disuse.

arthritis foot stretch
Image Source:

4. Towel pickup

Sit on a chair and place a hand towel on the floor. Keep your heel on the ground and pick up the towel by grasping it in between your toes. Repeat this 10 to 20 times. To make this arthritis foot exercise more challenging, you can add a can of beans to the towel for resistance. Another foot exercise is to practice smoothing out a scrunched-up towel on the floor using your toes.

5. Heel raise

This is a great stretch for feet that have been crowded in cramped shoes all day or for people who are on their feet all day, says Third Age. Standing, lift your heels so you are balancing on the balls of your feet and stretching out your calf muscles. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.

6. Plantar fascia stretches

There are several ways to stretch the band of tissue between the heel and ball of your foot. You can sit on a chair, cross one leg, grab the ball of your foot and pull it back toward your leg — holding for 20 seconds and repeating three times. Or you can sit on the floor with your legs fully extended, looping a towel around the ball of your foot and pulling your toes toward your body — holding for 30 seconds and repeating three times. Lastly, you may try rolling a can or a tennis ball along the floor, positioning the object at the arch of your foot for a nice massage.

Come see us if you live in the NYC area and would like a more customized, challenging routine to zap foot arthritis pain!


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.