YOGA FOR FOOT PAIN – GET HELP HERE!

A couple of weeks ago I felt that me left foot was hurting when I was walking. It is mainly on the left side of my sole and it stopped once I did not put any pressure on it. But lately it even hurts when I am sitting and so I tried to find out yoga postures that could help ease the pain and even get rid of it – and guess what? IT HELPED!

In the following post I want to share my findings with you.

What causes foot pain?

Injury, overuse or conditions causing inflammation involving any of the bones, ligaments or tendons in the foot can cause foot pain. Arthritis is a common cause of foot pain. Injury to the nerves of the feet may result in intense burning pain, numbness or tingling (peripheral neuropathy).

Foot pain is a common problem. The foot is made up of 26 bones, 33
joints and over 100 muscles, ligaments and tendons. Each year we take on
average half a million steps, so it’s no wonder that things go wrong.

The good news is that most cases of foot pain will settle with simple treatment at home. But where should you start?

What are the symptoms?

Foot pain symptoms include anything from burning pain to swelling, instability to foot rashes.

It might be the top of the foot that’s affected, the toes, the foot arch or even the calf.

By thinking about your foot pain symptoms, you can work out what is wrong and how best to treat it.

Foot
symptoms may be an indication of a problem in the foot itself, a
medical condition or a problem further up in the leg or in the lower
back.

Burning foot pain

Burning sensations usually indicate a nerve problem anywhere from lower back to the foot.

Running foot pain

Runners may get foot and ankle pain during or after a run. It often gets progressively worse. I can be caused by over-training, previous injury, flat feet, muscle imbalance or poor footwear. You feel pain, weakness or swelling.

Sharp pain in big toe

Sharp stabbing pain in, on top of or under the big toe when sitting, walking or running caused by overuse, injury, sprinting, tight footwear, gout.

Swollen feet and ankles

A build-up of fluid in one or both feet causes them to swell. The cause can be injury, inflammation, a medical condition e.g. gout, infection, heart problems, pregnancy.

Pain on top of the foot

Every step we take places a force 1.5 x body weight through our feet. Pain is usually caused by a damage to the bones and can come from injury, overuse, wear and tear or even ill-fitting footwear.

Food Arch Pain

Foot arch pain is a common problem, largely due to the amount of pressure going through our feet. The muscles and tendons that support the foot arches have to work hard to stabilise the foot and can quickly fatigue resulting in pain on the bottom of the foot.

Weakness and tightness in the foot muscles changes how the forces go through the feet and up the legs so foot arch pain is often associated with back and knee pain too.

How to check for yourself which kind of foot pain you have

Foot pain diagnosis is all about working out what is causing your pain so you know how to treat it effectively.

One of the simplest ways to approach foot pain diagnosis is to start by thinking where exactly the pain is.

From there you can hone-in on specific symptoms to work out what is causing your foot pain.

There might be a problem in the bones,  inflammation in the tendons or damage to one of the ligaments.

There are over 100 muscles, tendons, bones and ligaments in the foot so there are countless things that can go wrong.

How can yoga help fight foot pain?

You have to look at your feet as the foundation of the whole body, like the foundation of a building. If this foundation is not strong, the building will collapse. By doing yoga regularly you work on this foundation, on your feet – they must be level to support all the structure above, legs, spine, arms and head. One of the causes of food pain are muscles getting too tight and yoga will ease this tightness.

Easy poses to combat foot pain

Mountain Pose

 

 

Standing poses are very good for becoming aware of your feet. You will feel where you put your weight, on the inner or outer edge, or evenly distributed.

Notice how your weight falls, and then play with it by rocking forward and back, lifting first your toes, then your heels.

Try lifting the arch of your foot while pushing down around the edges, creating both a sense of rooting into the earth and lifting energy up from the center.

Here are the steps to achieve mountain pose:

  • Stand with your feet flat on the floor, heels slightly out
  • Bring your hands in front of you, stretch your arms, palms closer together
  • Inhale and stretch your spine. Raise your arms up above your head and stretch as much as you can, lift your ankles and stand on your toes
  • Look up and take some slow breaths
  • Hold for 30 seconds and exhale slowly back to normal standing
  • Try to repeat 5 to 10 times and increase time as much as you feel comfortable

Tree pose


This pose enhances the strength in your ankles and feet.

  1. Stand on one leg
  2. Bend your other knee
  3. Put the sole of your foot on the inside of your knee
  4. Balance and keep your hands together in front of you
  5. Try to sway like a tree in the wind

 

Eagle Pose




This pose strengthens the feet, ankles, calves and thighs.

  1. Stand tall with your feet either together or 4 – 5 inches apart and parallel, knees slightly bent
  2. Shift your weight into your left foot and cross your right thigh over your left. See if you can hook your right foot behind your left calf
  3. Cross your left elbow over your right and bring the palms of your hands or the backs of your hands together
  4. Hug your legs together, and sit back as sitting on a chair
  5. Lift your elbows to shoulder height
  6. Stay there and reach your hands forward away from you to create more stretch between your upper shoulder blades
  7. Relax your face and your jaw

Hero Pose



This pose stretches the top of the foot and elongates the arch.

  1. Start kneeling with the tops of the feet down on the mat, knees touching
  2. Come up to stand on the knees, bring your feet a bit more than hip-distance apart, big toes pointing  in slightly
  3. Slowly sit down between your feet. You might need a bolster or block to place between your feet
  4. Bring your shoulders away from your ears and lengthen from the crown of your head, palms face up or down on your thighs
  5. Stay in this pose for up to 30 breaths
  6. To come out put your palms on the mat in front of you and come onto hands and knees and stand up

 

Downward dog



This pose gives your feet a very good stretch, if your heels try to come flat to the floor, it works the arches of the feet and eases foot arch pain.


  1. Start being on your hands and knees
  2. Hands in front of your shoulders
  3. Press back
  4. Raise your knees from the floor
  5. Lift your tailbone up
  6. Push your heels toward the floor

Hold for 5 to 10 breaths and repeat 5 times

 

Bound angle pose with foot massage


This pose lengthens the leg’s muscles and helps to stretch the arches of your feet.

  1. Begin seated and bring your knees wide out to the sides, take the soles of your feet together, about 1 to 2 feet in front of you
  2. Hold your ankles with your hands and inhale deeply to lengthen the spine, then hinge forward as far as you can
  3. Drop your head, relax your shoulders, and take your hands with your thumbs on the arches of your feet
  4. Gently massage the bottoms of your feet, take 5 to 10 deep breaths

 

Supported Bridge Variation


 

This pose again is good to stretch your leg muscles, ease tension and soften your feet.

  1. Begin lying on your back. Bend knees, placing feet on the ground hip-width apart
  2. Lift hips and place a block underneath you at whatever setting feels best for your back, then lower sacrum onto the block
  3. Once you feel steady, using your right hand for assistance, place the top of right foot on the ground next to the block. Keep reaching knees toward your midline
  4. Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths and then switch sides

 

Reclined Hero’s Pose



This pose stretches the thighs, knees and ankles and strengthens the arches of the feet.

  1. Start by kneeling down on your mat
  2. Get your sit bones on the mat between your heels
  3. Knees as close together as possible
  4. Bring your hands back until your forearms are touching the mat
  5. Bring your elbows down until you are lying on the mat
  6. Do not arch your back
  7. Bring our arms over your head and grap your opposite elbows
  8. Stay for 5 to 10 deep breaths

 

Reclined Cow Face Pose

This gives the soles of your feet a much needed stretch.

  1. Lie on your back and cross your right knee over your left, bring feet slightly out to the sides
  2. Hold your right foot with your left hand and your left foot with your right hand
  3. Keep your knees stacked, try with your hands to get shins in one line, keep elbows and feet flexed
  4. Hold for for 5 to 10 deep breaths and bring your thumbs into the arches of your feet and massage from heel to ball
  5. Repeat on the other side

Heron Pose

This pose also is all about stretching your leg and feet muscles.

  1. Begin seated in with your legs long in front of you
  2. Bend your left knee and place the top of the left foot on the mat outside to the left
  3. Bend your right knee and hold the outer edges of your right foot with both hands
  4. Gently press your heel away and up, lengthening the right leg. Draw your shoulders down and lift your chest
  5. With your fingers massage the edges of your foot
  6. Stay here for 5 deep breaths
  7. Repeat on the other side

Legs up the wall pose

This pose provides a gentle stretch for the abductor muscles. Tight inner thigh muscles can overload the foot arch
causing pain or an imbalance in the feet during walking.

  1. Lie on your back and swing your legs up onto the wall, so the back of your thighs rest against the wall
  2. Allow your entire spine to rest heavy on the mat or floor beneath you, and relax your arms by your sides or on your stomach
  3. You might add some weight on top of your feet to feel even more grounded
  4. Stay there for up to 10 minutes

What else can help to reduce pain?

  • Choose comfortable, roomy, and well-cushioned shoes
  • Avoid shoes with high heels and narrow toe areas
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stretch before and after exercise
  • Practice good foot hygiene
  • Always wear footwear when you go outdoors to protect your feet

Conclusion

I hope that you can take up my suggestions but I know that this can be a lengthy process – so please do not give up and I would love to hear from you how you are getting along. Please give your comments, ideas and hopefully success stories!

16 thoughts on “YOGA FOR FOOT PAIN – GET HELP HERE!

  1. Che Reply

    Yoga for foot pain! Aha! I have been searching for ways to help the pain for a sprained foot. I have had it for many months and it seems like the pain doesn’t go away. Coming across this post is like a mindblowing! I haven’t thought of Yoga for the foot pain! Thank you so much for putting all these together. I already started as soon as I saw the pictures and I can’t wait to feel the results. 

    • Angelika Sesterheim Post authorReply

      Hello, thank you for your comment, I am glad that you found my articles and I do hope that you will have the desired results, anyway, it works for me, so it should also work for you!

      I wish you a speedy recovery and keep doing yoga.

      All the best

      Angeika 

  2. Yoana Reply

    I really enjoyed reading this article. It gave a lot of information and explanations for my feet pain. I have swollen feet and the doctors told me there is no apparent reason for it. I used to go yoga classes and my problem got better, but now due to COvid 19 I am stuck at home and my problem reappeared. I will practice these poses from your article. 

    Thank you,

    Yoana

    • Angelika Sesterheim Post authorReply

      Hello Yoana

      thank you for reading and commenting my latest article. I hope you can do the poses at home and I would also suggest to do a lot with your feet up, like feet on the wall. I think this can also help to lessen the swelling.

      Kind regards

      Angelika

  3. Mojisola Kupolati (Debbie) Reply

    Hi. Angelika. Thanks a lot for this insightful post on addressing foot pain through Yoga. This is very new to me and very interesting as well. I was having stepping pains at the back of my right foot which gets aggravated after my jogging sessions. I had to get cortisone infiltration and had some relief, but the pain is not totally gone. Actually, I was told I might need to repeat the procedure for a few more times to get total relief. I am seeing Yoga might provide a more lasting solution. Thanks. Debbie.

    • Angelika Sesterheim Post authorReply

      Hello Debbie,

      thank you for your comment. I think as well that doing the yoga poses I have described in my article over a couple of weeks and regularly should show some lasting results.

      Let me know how you get on.

      Warm regards

      Angelika

  4. Amy Reply

    Hi there, I suffer with pain in my right foot its in the arch and only comes on during the night, from your thorough explanation I guess it’s my plantur facia thats tightening up (think I got that right) anyway I’m really grateful to have all these yoga poses to try as having a much better understanding now of what it is is reassuring.

    do you agree and think the yoga will help

    thanks Amy 

    • Angelika Sesterheim Post authorReply

      Hello Amy, thank you for your comment. I think you are right and it can be your tightened plantar fascia. 

      Here is a statement from the Mayo clinic “Most people who have plantar fasciitis recover in several months with conservative treatment, including resting, icing the painful area and stretching.” So doing the yoga exercises regularly for stretching and also putting some ice below your foot should help you.

      Do not give up or take pain killers.

      All the best!

      Angelika

  5. Derrick Reply

    Wow! This post was very informative. I practice yoga for lower back pain but I had no idea of the added benefit of reducing foot pain. I do perform the mountain pose, tree pose, downward dog pose, and the bound angle pose in my routine but I did not know how these poses help relieve foot pain.

    Thank you for this wonderful information. Your article has prompted me to ask the question “How else is the practice of yoga benefiting me?” I practice the art of yoga for a specific purpose but as I see I am getting much more than I expected.

    You researched the information very well. Once again thank you for the enlightenment. 🙂

    • Angelika Sesterheim Post authorReply

      Hello Derrick, I feel rather flattered by your kind comment! Yoga is basically very good for all kinds of health issues, but also good mentally, especially if you can also do some meditation. I found very good information for all kinds of troubles and have written quite a few articles regarding various health conditions.

  6. Derrick Daniels Reply

    Wow! This post was very informative. I practice yoga for lower back pain but I had no idea of the added benefit of reducing foot pain. I do perform the mountain pose, tree pose, downward dog pose, and the bound angle pose in my routine but I did not know how these poses help relieve foot pain.

    Thank you for this wonderful information. Your article has prompted me to ask the question “How else is the practice of yoga benefiting me?” I practice the art of yoga for a specific purpose but as I see I am getting much more than I expected.

    You researched the information very well. Once again thank you for the enlightenment. 🙂

    • Angelika Sesterheim Post authorReply

      Hello Derrick, thank you for your kind comment. basically yoga can benefit you for everything, physically and mentally. If you have a special condition you want to improve, just let me know, I can do a little research and come back to you.

  7. Jude Reply

    Thank you for sharing such a great article. I have don’t yoga for a little while but gave up soon after I hurt my neck doing a certain exercise. You are sharing some great poses to practice, like everything else in life, practice makes perfect. I am happy to hear you’ve exercises have resolved your food pains. 

    I always like the idea of yoga but I was amazed when I did a few lessons how difficult it is to practice it properly though. I even struggle to do breathing correctly. 

    I will try out some of these exercises. I was wondering, ae those poses suitable for children as well to practice?

    Have a great day and thank you for sharing such a great article. 

    Jude

    • Angelika Sesterheim Post authorReply

      Hello Jude, thank you for commenting on my article. Sorry to hear that your hurt yourself doing yoga. In that case, it might be best to look for classes or a teacher who can make sure that you do all the poses correctly. Once you have a bit of practise, you do start doing yoga at home.

      As regards suitability for children, you might want to check out my post 

      https://eaglenfalcon.org/yoga-benefits-for-children-explore-here/

      which is especially targeted to children.

      All the best and try to stick to yoga!

  8. LineCowley Reply

    Hi Angelika, For ages I have been threatening to start yoga, and this post is an even bigger nudge and incentive to start. I didn’t realise that yoga could be used for foot pain, but off course it makes sense as the anchor of the body. 

    As a novice, it does look as if many of these poses would also be beneficial for stretching the back, unless you have more specific suggestions for the back. Thank you, Liné

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