6 moves to help high-heel lovers

The towel stretch is easy to do anywhereNo matter how much I talk about the troubles wearing high heels causes your feet (including bunions, shortened Achilles tendon, hammertoes and more) I know that women will continue to wear them.

In honor of the MANY new high-heels you'll be scooping up this spring, I've decided to try joining ‘em instead of beating ‘em by sharing this six-step post high heel wearing recovery plan, courtesy of iDiva.com and Occupational and Neurotherapist Dr Gundeep Singh.

1. Towel stretch: This light stretch will ease the pain in your calf muscles and provide relief to the soles of your feet.

How to: Sit on the floor and stretch your legs out front. Bend your left leg and keep your right leg stretched. Use a towel to loop it around your foot and then pull your toes towards your body, while keeping your right knee straight.

Time: Hold for 10 seconds and repeat three times.

2. Wall stretches: This stretch targets your calf muscles.

How to: Place both your hands on a wall and stand at arm's length. Keep your feet flat on the floor and then step forward with your right foot. The right foot should be about 25-30 cm away from the wall with your front knee bent and your back leg straight. Press your right knee towards the wall till you feel a stretch in your left calf muscles.

Time: Hold it for 10 seconds and relax. Repeat 3 times. Repeat the same with the left foot.

3. Stair stretches: This exercise helps to stretch the hamstring muscle and relieves the pain.

How to: Stand on the stairs in a way that you heels hang off of the bottom step and the arches of your foot are supported by the step. Extend your arms at shoulder length and take support of the wall in front or on the side and hold the position. Keep the knee straight.

Time: Hold for 15 seconds and repeat five times.

4. The Water Bottle Stretch or Ball Roll: If you are suffering from a planter fasciitis (heel pain) this exercise is very effective.

How to: Sit down on a comfortable chair or stand in an upright posture. Place a water bottle, tennis ball or rolling pin on the floor. Slowly roll the sole of your foot over the object, starting from the ball of your foot to the heel of your foot across the plantar fascia.

Time: Do this for a minute. Repeat it for the other foot.

5. Squeeze your toes: This helps strengthen the toes and eases the foot pain, especially hammer-toe.

How to: Separate your toes using foam or a separator and then squeeze your toes.

Time: Do this for five seconds and repeat 5-10 times.

6. Contrast Bath: This significantly improves muscle recovery.

How to: Place your feet in ice water followed by warm water.

Time: Immerse your feet for five minutes or for as long as you feel comfortable.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.