How to Stretch a Tight Arch
Pain in the arches of your feet can have a variety of causes, among them injury, standing all day at work or jogging in improper shoes. Plantar fasciitis, in which the fascia that stretch from the ball of your foot to your heel become inflamed, can be greatly relieved by stretching. You don't have to limp around wincing, however. A few gentle stretches can go a long way toward relieving the discomfort of tight arches.
Sit on the floor or a yoga mat with your legs straight out in front of you and your feet flexed.
Wrap a rubber exercise band or yoga strap around the balls of your feet. Hold the ends as tightly as necessary, one in each hand, until you feel your toes start to bend back.
Pull the ends of the band or strap toward you and push your heels away until you feel as deep a stretch in your arches as is comfortable. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds, then release.
Lay a tennis ball or golf ball on the floor and rest your arch on it.
Support your weight on the opposite leg and press your foot down on the ball until you feel slight discomfort but not pain.
Roll the ball around by moving your foot in circles or back and forth. Point and flex your toes as you roll for an extra stretch.
Stand with your arms extended in front of you and your hands against a wall.
Step one foot behind you approximately six to 12 inches and bend your front knee.
Press the heel of your back foot to the ground. Move your foot as far back as necessary to achieve the deepest stretch, then repeat on the other side. Hold the stretch without bouncing until you feel your arch relax.
Neville Smithson did his undergraduate work at Hampshire College and earned an MFA in creative writing at the University of Cincinnati. Having had a change of heart about his passions, Smithson is now back in Massachusetts, where he enrolled in a combined MA/PhD physical therapy program.