Yoga is an ancient Indian discipline (actually, a group of disciplines) said to promote physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing through the practice of meditation, discipline, and control of the body. While it’s not our job to evaluate the metaphysical, we can say that practicing yoga can and does provide some significant benefits for those who practice it, and those benefits include pain relief and better overall foot health.
Yoga poses help build strength, flexibility, balance and range of motion throughout the body, including in the feet. It can help you keep your joints loose and your muscles limber; it can also help you improve your posture and walking gait, heal inflammation, and relieve discomfort and pain, not only in the toes and feet but all the way up your legs, hips, back, and spine. In fact, regular practice of yoga can even prevent foot issues like bunions or hammertoes from arising in the first place.
Take, for example, downward-facing dog, one of the most well-known yoga poses. It provides a great stretch for your hamstrings, calves, ankles, plantar fascia, and toes, which can help you relax tight muscles and find relief for aching plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis. Hero pose is another good one. The traditional hero pose provides a great stretch for both the tops of the feet and the arch, along with hips and knees.
Even something as simple as finger threading—interlacing your fingers and toes all the way to the base of each—and holding for 2 minutes—when practiced regularly can help you manage stiffness and arch pain, or prevent the formation of a hammertoe.
Of course, some yoga poses are easier than others, especially on those who are just beginning or dealing with complicating conditions such as arthritis or knee pain. But with the application of time and practice, anyone can learn and improve.
If you suffer from chronic foot and ankle pain or weakness, consider making yoga part of your daily routine. You should also consider picking up the phone and calling Family Foot & Ankle Center. With a combination of at-home care and professional assistance, you can get your feet (and your life!) back. To schedule an appointment, please call 888-689-3317 today.