You can’t live in SoCal without being aware of the thriving yoga industry in the area. There are at least ten studios within a half hour’s drive from Ladera Ranch, and expensive yoga wear can be seen in all of them! Despite the commercial nature, the practice has some great health benefits, including stress relief and improved circulation, and medical professionals often recommend yoga for arthritis.
Certain yoga moves may help if you have painful arthritic feet or ankles. Of course, you shouldn’t try them until we’ve been able to examine you to see whether they are appropriate for your specific case, but here are a few common yoga exercises that could help your sore, stiff, lower limbs:
- Lie on your back, legs straight, feet at right angles, and arms at your side palms down. Keeping your torso and head in full contact with the mat, lift one leg straight up. Inhale as you lift, exhale as you lower it, repeat three times. Repeat with left leg. Once you have mastered these movements, you can increase the stretch by grasping your lower leg and pulling it toward your chest, and then by lifting your head and shoulders toward your leg. These movements help stretch and tone muscles in the legs, abdomen, and lower back.
- Sit with legs outstretched, back against a wall or with hands pointing toward your hips on the floor behind you. Inhale and bend one foot back, then exhale as you move the foot forward and down, 10 times; repeat with the other foot. This is most beneficial in the early stages of ankle arthritis—to slow down its progression.
- Sit the same way, but with a rolled up blanket or yoga mat under your knees. Lift the foot to a right angle, then rotate slowly in one direction 10 – 15 times, and then in the other, keeping your knees still. Repeat with the other foot. This helps keep your joints loose and conditioned.
The mindful breathing, stress relief, and toning accomplished through yoga exercises can make a big difference to your lower legs and your whole body. Why not set up an appointment with our expert staff at Southern California Foot & Ankle Specialists in Ladera Ranch, CA, to see if you might benefit? We’re just a phone call away at (949) 364-9255 (WALK), or you can request a visit right on our website.