Three At-Home Exercises to Relieve Foot Pain
One of the more common areas dancers experience pain is in their feet, particularly in the arches of their feet. In some extreme cases Plantar Fasciitis may be causing excessive pain through the bottom of the feet and heels.
Follow along with Dr. Nina Geromol, Physical Therapist, as she demonstrates 3 exercises and stretches you can do from home or in the dance studio to relieve some of this pain and reduce the chances of the pain reoccurring.
Tools Used in this Tutorial:
Rolling Foot Massage
This simple massage / stretch rolls the bottom of your foot across the surface of one of the three products. As you roll your foot across the massage tool you’re searching for any tenderness or tightness in your muscles or connective tissue. When you find these areas adjust the pressure to a level where you may feel slight discomfort, but not too much pressure where you are feeling extreme pain. Roll your foot back and forth across this area massaging to release the tightness & holding for a few extra second on each of these tight areas. The BuzzBall will offer some additional massaging through the Vibration Motion helping to release tightness and increase blood flow to the area.
You may perform this massage for a 2-3 minutes on each foot and then allow your feet to rest.
Calf & Foot Stretch
This stretch will release tightness through the arch of your foot and is great to combine with the Rolling Foot Massage.
Place your foot just behind the Lacrosse Ball, and rest only your Big Toe on the Lacrosse Ball so your toe is pointed upward. The balls of your feet and other toes should still be on the ground. Then step forward with your opposite leg causing a nice stretch though your calf muscle, through the bottom of your foot, and into your toes. This will relieve tension all through your lower leg and bottom of your foot.
Hold this pose for several seconds and repeat a few times as necessary.
Arch doming is an exercise to strengthen your intrinsic foot muscles which are responsible for stabilizing your foot, supporting your arch, and moving your toes.. all functions critical to dance.
Stand in a natural position with your foot flat on the floor. Move one foot to the side, while shifting your weight away from the foot you will be exercising. Then, relax your toes and keep the spread out on the floor. From this position, pull your arch upward using only the muscles in your foot. This will only produce a tiny movement, but just this small movement is training your muscles to better support your foot. Training these muscles will be a large part of preventing future foot pain.
Arch Doming – Progression One: Both Feet at Same Time
After you are comfortable with performing the Arch Doming one foot at a time with almost no weight on your foot, try both feet at the same time.
Start by standing with both feet in a parallel position with equal weight on both feet. Then, dome your arches in the same way as the previous exercise.
Arch Doming – Progression Two: First Position & Demi Plie
Further progression of the Arch Doming exercise will be start in First Position with your feet turned out. While in First Position, dome the arches of both feet at the same time. You may even further enhance this exercise by adding a Demi Plie while doming the arches of your feet.
Dr. Nina Geromel is a Physical Therapist and life-long dancer. Learn more about Dr. Nina and the classes offered for dancer looking to get on pointe at:
Dance Buddy offers massage, recovery, and self-care tools tailored for dancers. Learn more about their products at: