This article will describe 5 exercises for rheumatoid arthritis of the foot, which affects about 90% of people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. The foot contains thirty-three joints, so there are many areas that can be affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Pain usually occurs in the toes, heels, forefeet, ankles or the back of the foot. These exercises can help to lessen joint pain and decrease damage to the foot. Be sure to consult with your doctor or a physiotherapist before beginning these exercises.
To do these exercises for rheumatoid arthritis of the foot, you will need:
- A large handkerchief or cloth
- A tennis ball
- A bottle of lotion
- To strengthen the arched area of your foot (metatarsal), you will need a large handkerchief or cloth. After placing the cloth on the floor, keep your heel flat and use your toes to bring the cloth towards your body. Once the cloth is completely under your foot, reverse the process and use your toes to move the cloth away from the body. This exercise should be repeated five to ten times and can help you deal with your rheumatoid arthritis.
- Next, stretch your toes (phalanges) and your joints in your arch (metatarsal) area. To do this, sit on a chair and reach down to your toes. Take your fingers and bend your toes backward as far as possible. Keep your toes bent for five to ten seconds. If you use your other hand to rub lotion on your arch at the same time you are bending your toes backward, it will increase your stretch. Repeat this several times on each foot.
- When you have rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to get blood flowing to your ankle joints. Ankle rotations will increase blood flow and help you stretch and strengthen the ankle joints. Sit in a chair and raise your foot off the floor. Rotate your ankle clockwise five to fifteen times. Repeat the process in a counter-clockwise direction. Be sure to exercise both ankles.
- Stretching your arch is very important for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. Sit in a chair and put a tennis ball under your arch. Putting pressure on the ball, roll it back and forth from the toes to the heel. Repeat this several times, then change feet and do the same thing on the other foot.
- Lastly, make sure your toes get stretched. Standing next to a wall or a chair so you have support, rise up on your toes. Keep this position for a few seconds, and then return to a flat position. Repeat this process ten to twenty times.