Exercises for flat feet that correct the arch
The medical term for lack of arch in the foot is Pes Planus. It is a common condition and does not incur any pain. However, there are cases where a few individuals feel the pain. Human beings are born with flat feet. The development of the arch occurs in the childhood and during the growth phase. Flat feet occur as flexible and inflexible types.
A flexible flatfoot is the one where the arch forms when you stand up on tiptoe. When there is the absence of the arch when you stand up on the toes, it is the inflexible flat feet type. The inflexible type occurs due to the tarsal coalition, where two or more small bones of the foot combine. It is possible to view the structure by undertaking an X-ray.
Should you be worried?
When you have flat feet, there is a tendency to have knocked knees. A knocked knee is the posture where the knees automatically tend to fold towards the inward direction. If this is what you are experiencing, then your feet will absorb less shock when you walk. It also becomes difficult to balance the weight of the body, as the feet are in no position to support the entire weight of the structure. An improper posture will result in a weak foundation that will affect the knees, ankles, and the support provided by the spine and upper portion of the body.
When the knees bow inward, but the feet are flat when you stand, it is indicative that the total weight of the body has a good balance, but the muscles and ligaments in the feet are too weak and flexible. One of the primary reasons for such a condition is due to the use of shoes that provide more than needed support, which eliminates the use of the muscles in the feet to balance the weight and support the arches.
Get rid of the arch supports
The insoles and the orthotics available are beneficial in providing support to the weakened feet a few stand or walk for long periods. However, the use of the supports does not offer a permanent solution to the fallen arches. You will indeed be using them forever and putting yourself at risk if you do not use the supporters.
As a long-term solution, it is necessary to develop connective tissue and muscle strength in the feet. It is possible by indulging in exercises for flat feet. The various exercises described below to provide an opportunity to strengthen the muscles along the arch that commences at the ball of the foot and runs towards the heel. It is here that you require the assistance and probably an important area to begin strengthening the muscular structure. Of all the various muscles present in the surrounding areas of the arch, the abductor halluces are of priority as it is responsible for the movement of the big toe away from other toes. When this muscle is weak, it poses a major distraction and the primary reason for the development of bunions.
Exercises to strengthen the muscular structure of your feet
- Toe spreads – you can stand, sit or lie down and move your toes as widely as possible. Try to create a gap between each toe. Keep that position for a few seconds and try to repeat the activity for at least ten times every day per foot.
- Pointing with toes – try to point your toes at anything or something in the room. At this position, try to flex your foot. Maintain that position for at least 10 seconds. Release, and repeat the activity for a minimum of 10 times per foot every day. You could also try tracing alphabet in midair with your feet each day as additional work out.
- Getting on the toes – try to stand up on your toes and walk for a minimum of five minutes each day. Try to maintain the position without allowing your heels to touch the ground. If you have a treadmill, you can try barefoot work out as a worthy alternative.
- Side walking – stand up in barefoot and try to maintain shoulder wide stance. Try to bend your knees slightly and roll out towards the outer edges of your feet. Try to balance your weight on the outer feet and slowly rise on the toes. You should be able to feel the stretching of the longitudinal arch. Try to hold that position for a few seconds. Repeat the activity for at least five times every day to induce the ligaments present in the arch region.
- Walking in the sand – walking barefoot in the sand is an excellent exercise for the flat feet. As the surface of the sand is never the same, walking barefoot on the sand will cause your bare feet to adapt to the ever-changing environment. It makes the muscles and ligaments in the arch region to adjust and react according to the terrain. Barefoot walking in sand is a highly effective exercise/activity to strengthen the arch in the feet.
Women struggling with flat feet will have to begin participating in the exercises at a very slow pace. In order to sustain the good health of your feet, it is important to avoid wearing shoes for longer periods. Using the supporters for a maximum time will only escalate the risk of over training the feet, which results in weak muscles and ligaments in the arch region. By participating in the strengthening exercises, it is possible to improve the posture of the feet by taking the muscles, tissues, and ligaments in the arch area.
If you require wearing shoes, it is possible to control the symptoms by choosing the best insoles for flat feet. These insoles concentrate on the needed posture of the feet by providing longitudinal support and cushioning. The careful use of the insoles is important, as prolonged use of the supporters will once again tend to weaken the arch region, making it difficult to reverse the occurrence.