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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
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Footloose: Stretches for Crampy, Angry Arches [Slideshow]

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Most of us have experienced this before—an ache in our arches that doesn’t go away. If you’ve felt this pain, you’re not alone. Around 50 percent of Americans experience heel pain, which is one of the causes of plantar fasciitis. This condition causes pain in the bottom of the heel that often extends to your arches. People with flat feet often experience cramps and aches in their arches.

The good news is, stretches can help reduce the pain and prevent plantar fasciitis. If your arches are always achy, make sure you’re wearing proper and supportive footwear. Then, incorporate these gentle stretches into your daily routine to prevent further damage and strengthen your feet.

Image by nuiza11 / Shutterstock
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For Pain: Ball Roll

Rolling a tennis ball under your feet can help relieve pain in the arches.

To do this stretch:

  • Sit up in a chair, with feet flat on the floor.
  • Place a tennis ball on the floor next to your feet.
  • Lay foot on the ball and roll it around, comfortably pressing down.
  • Continue for 2 minutes.
  • Repeat on the other side.
Image by Maksym Fesenko / Shutterstock
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For Arch Pain: Arch Lifts

For those with flat feet or fallen arches, this exercise strengthens and improves flexibility to reduce pain.

To do this stretch:

  • Stand with your feet directly underneath your hips.
  • Roll your weight to the outer edges of your feet. Lift your arches as high as you can.
  • Hold for 2 seconds. Repeat.
  • Do 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
Image by Maridav / Shutterstock
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For Tight Feet: Towel Curls

If your feet often feel tight and crampy, try this stretch to build strength in your toes and upper foot muscles.

To do this stretch:

  • Sit in a chair and place a towel under your feet.
  • Root your heels into the floor and curl your toes to scrunch up the towel.
  • Press your toes into your foot. Hold for a few seconds. Release.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Do 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
Image by Frank Herzog / Shutterstock
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For Strength: Wall Heel Stretch

To prevent plantar fasciitis and release your arches from cramps and aches, strengthening your heels is paramount.

To do this stretch:

  • Stand with your hands on the wall, gently pushing.
  • Bring one leg back and straight. Keep the other one slightly bent.
  • Move your hips forward until you feel a gentle stretch in your calf.
  • Hold for at least 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Do at least 3 repetitions, three times a day.
Image by EdBockStock / Shutterstock
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For Instant Relief: Towel Stretch

If, after a long day, your arches feel crampy and achy, a gentle towel stretch can help release tension and massage the area.

To do this stretch:

  • Sit straight on the floor or your bed.
  • Grab a towel and wrap it around your foot.
  • Gently pull the towel towards your chest. Hold for at least 10 seconds.
  • Release and repeat on the other side.
  • Do at least 3 sets.
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Geraldine
GR8NESS Writer
Geraldine is a GR8NESS Contributing Editor who writes about self care, clean makeup and beauty, mental health, and relationships – as well as natural remedies and fitness. She’s a coffee enthusiast with Venezuelan roots, a former ballerina, and the sunscreen patrol. Most of the time, you can find her working on her skincare routine or trying a new dance workout.
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