Exercises for foot problems

These exercises can help to get you moving normally, and safely, if you've a muscle or joint problem affecting your foot.

These video shows the whole movement so don't worry if you can't do it all.

How many and how often

Start by doing 5 repetitions of each exercise, 3 times a day. Add an extra 1 or 2 repetitions every few days as long as you feel comfortable.

When to stop

Stop these exercises if they make your symptoms worse, or cause new pain.

If your symptoms don't improve after 2 weeks, phone the Musculoskeletal (MSK) Helpline (only available in some health board regions).

If this service isn't available in your area, speak to your GP to find out if you can refer yourself to a local MSK service.

Seated foot and heel raise (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWMHCBKjZXQ)

You should do this exercise while sitting down.

With your feet flat on the floor:

  1. Raise your heel off the floor and hold for 2 seconds
  2. Return your foot to the floor
  3. Raise your toes off the floor and hold for 2 seconds
  4. Return your foot to the floor

Raising and lowering your heels and toes is one repetition.

Toe bend (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYdqsssEiG4)

You should do this exercise while sitting or lying down.

With your toes straight out in front of you:

  1. Bend your toes downwards and hold for 2 seconds
  2. Return and relax
  3. Bend your toes upwards and hold for 2 seconds
  4. Return and relax

Bending your toes up and down is one repetition.

Big toe lift and hold (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20s4EhMeScw)

You should do this exercise while sitting down.

With your feet on the floor, and toes straight out in front of you:

  1. Lift your big toe keeping your other toes on the floor
  2. Hold for 2 seconds and return to the floor

Lifting and lowering your toe is one repetition.

Standing calf stretch (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7xIKfcSU1M)

You should do this exercise while standing up.

With your feet together, and your body facing a wall:

  1. Keeping your heel on the floor, place the foot with the sore calf against the wall
  2. Bring your pelvis forward - you should feel the stretch in your calf
  3. Hold for 2 seconds then push your pelvis away from the wall and relax

Lowering and raising your pelvis from the wall is one repetition.

Ankle stretch (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apq-YaR7o6Q)

You should do this exercise while standing up.

With your feet together, and your body facing a wall:

  1. Lean against it with your arms and back straight
  2. Keeping your heels on the floor, let your body drop towards the wall - you should feel the stretch in your calves
  3. Hold for 2 seconds then push your body away from the wall and relax

Lowering and raising your body from the wall is one repetition.