High heels look great with your favorite skirt, but beauty can be painful. High heels cause the tendons and ligaments that support your arch to tighten. This can lead to pain in the arch of your foot -- a condition called plantar fasciitis. Perform exercises to stretch your arch and reduce pain after you wear your high heels.
Stretch your arch with a bath towel first thing in the morning and again before you go to bed. Sit on a firm surface with your legs straight out in front of you.
Loop the towel around the ball of your foot and hold one end of the towel in each hand.
Pull the towel toward you until you feel a stretch -- without pain -- along the arch of your foot. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, relax and repeat three times.
Stretch your arch in a standing position throughout your day. Stand on the ball of your foot on the edge of a stair.
Keeping your knee straight, lower your heel below the step until you feel a stretch along the back of your calf and in the arch of your foot.
Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, relax and repeat three times. Repeat this exercise with your knees slightly bent to target different muscle fibers.
Strengthen the muscles that support your arch with towel curls. Sit in a chair, remove your shoe and lay a small towel lengthwise under your toes.
Keep your heel on the ground and curl your toes, scrunching the towel toward your foot.
Straighten the towel back out when you reach the opposite end and repeat this exercise three times.
Tennis Ball Massage
If your foot pain persists longer than one week, or affects your ability to walk, seek medical attention.
Perform self-massage exercises to reduce pain in your arch. Sit in a chair and remove your shoe.
Place your foot on top of a tennis ball and position it under your arch.
Press down on the ball with your foot until you feel pressure -- without pain -- and roll the ball around your arch for 60 seconds. Relax and repeat three times.
Things You'll Need
- If your foot pain persists longer than one week, or affects your ability to walk, seek medical attention.
Aubrey Bailey has been writing health-related articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in ADVANCE for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy and Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University at Buffalo, as well as a post-professional Doctor of Physical Therapy from Utica College. Dr. Bailey is also a certified hand therapist.