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Exercises for Foot and Ankle Pain

Given the number of bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles that make up our feet and ankles, I have long felt that rather than spot treat areas of pain and stiffness, it makes more sense to work at improving overall blood circulation and joint play throughout the many articulations involved.

As mentioned in these videos, sometimes, scar tissue or other issues may be inhibiting sufficient joint play in one or more articulations to allow for healthy gains in mobility and functional strength with exercise. If you suspect this is the case in your situation, I would suggest looking for a local practitioner who has experience with joint mobilization throughout the extremities - many chiropractors, physiotherapists, osteopathic physicians, and naturopathic doctors have this type of training.

I hope these videos prove to be helpful.


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Dr Kim, I love the things you show us on your videos. While I was watching the one on feet and ankles I realized that your feet weren't so visible. So I'm suggesting that you wear shorts instead of long pants. Maybe you wear shorts sometimes, I don't remember. Just a thought.

I see his feet just fine...I don't need to see his legs for a video on feet and ankle pain.
This video was really helpful. I have battled plantar fasciitis before and feel it coming back so the timing was perfect.

Dr. Kim,
I have experienced plantar fascitis for many years and physical therapy has helped but it has never been a permanent cure. Frustrated, I took off traveling around the world, and in Asia, I happened to walk into a reflexology section of a mall, hoping to relieve a bit of my feet aches. Bringing with me my american arrogance, I told the masseur not to touch my feet! Everybody around laughed and said that's why I need to be 'there' more often. This is in Singapore and for an hour all he did is to use his finger knuckes and rub against the walls in between my big toe and 2nd toe. For the entire hour! And then he fled before I can thank him. I walked out, painless for the rest of my life. And I was so lucky he was brought over because the store was overbooked and wonder what other reflexologists would have done. I did not have the chance to express my gratitude. But I vow to tell everybody this method, and Since then try to learn from the Vietnamese 'dien chan" a cure , for the feet for example, with acupressure for similar locations on the face or body. We don't touch the place where the pain is. Everything works as a charm with no MD's, drugs nor weapons. Thank you for sharing all your knowledge and being part of a community who is willing to help and cure. I believe in karma.

Hi There Ha ...sorry but what do you mean by "against the walls in between my big toe and 2nd toe" do you mean at the fleshy joint between big toe and second or the sides of each toe? Thanks

Great video Dr Kim - helpful and clear

Excellent exercises! Thank you./ As a dancer, cyclist and very active woman, my calves, ankles and feet get sore. I stretch daily more than most people and it is so very important to keep our feet strong and healthy, since they not only support our stature, but are key (through meridians) to maintaing the health of many of our other body organs. Thank you for sharing !

Thank you Dr Kim for the clear video. A little suggestion. Instead of doing these exercises on a footstool, which can be unstable for the plastic ones, I would suggest to do at concrete/wooden staircases. Hope no one falls over plastic footstools.

I would agree, Lily. One can also do these while on the ground and near a wall. For dorsiflexion, one can lean back into the wall and raise their toes up toward the ceiling while keeping the heels on the ground. For plantarflexion, one can simply do toe raises with the balls of the feet on the ground.

Thanks so much Dr Kim, I recently developed left foot pain which I self diagnosed as planter fasciitis. I see a chiropractor weekly for general health and I mentioned this to him. He attempted some work on my ankle but that didn’t work for me. I love these exercises, I felt relief after one round of doing them!!! I will continue doing them and will share this video with friends. Thank you.