At Core Gymball we have a few exercises we LOVE and we have decided to share one of our favourites with our Shire Life readers this November. We affectionately call this the “Dogs’ Ball Foot Release” as the best balls we have found to use are the solid sponge balls you can buy for Rover at the local pet barn! They are just the right firmness and strong enough to withstand lots of pressure as we release the muscles, joints and fascia in the foot.
Why release the arch of our foot? Because our feet are so often held firmly in shoes and spend the majority of our day walking on even, flat surfaces. This results in little stretching and poor mobility through the 33 joints of our feet and often results in stiffness. This can cause pain in the foot and surrounding area causing plantar fasciitis and other foot issues, but it can also contribute to tightness in the superficial back line – the tissues that link all the way from the arch of our feet to our head. This tightness through our back line can lead to headaches that radiate over the head and to the back of our eyes.
How do we release the muscles in the foot to relieve headaches? The best way to start is to picture the plantar fasciia under the arch of our foot as a triangle – the point at our heel and the base under the toes. We recommend that you work in sitting if it is very tight and tender or in standing if you are able. Start with the ball under the base of your toes and roll if firmly towards the heel. Remember to work from each toe down to the heel so that you release from the inside of the arch through to the outside of the arch. Be sure to find any tight, tender spots and give them some extra massage. Aim to do a few minutes on each foot untill you feel the tension has let go.
Working through the arches of your feet a few days a week can make a big difference. It can feel like a “good pain” when releasing and once done the feet feel lighter and the tension through the back line is relieved.
We love simple tips that really make a difference! For more great ideas come along and join one of our physiotherapists for a Core Gymball class this term. Want more info? Be sure to check out the rest of the site or call Natasha on 0438 448 738.