Flat feet are commonly known as fallen or collapsed arches. Normally both feet are affected, but it is possible for only one to be affected. It can have several different causes including genes, arthritis, and obesity. You are also more likely to have flat feet if you have a neurological or muscular disease such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or spina bifida.
Below are a few exercises you can do to help raise your arches and keep them strong. It is recommended you do these many times a week and even throughout the day if possible. It is important to pay attention to how your body is responding and not overdo it. Check out the video attached to each for an example!
1. Stand with your hands resting on a wall, chair, or railing at the shoulder or eye level.
2. Keep one leg forward and the other leg extended behind you.
3. Press both heels firmly into the floor.
4. Keeping your spine straight, bend your front leg and push yourself into the wall or support, feeling a stretch in your back leg and Achilles’ tendon.
5. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
6. Do each side 4 times.
Tennis/golf ball rolls
1. Sit on a chair with a tennis or golf ball under your right foot.
2. Maintain a straight spine as you roll the ball under your foot, focusing on the arch.
3. Do this for 2 - 3 minutes.
4. Switch to the opposite foot and repeat.
1. Stand with your feet directly underneath your hips.
2. Roll your weight to the outer edges of your feet as you lift your arches up as far as you can. Make sure to keep your toes in contact with the floor the entire time.
3. Release your feet back down. You will work the muscles that help to lift and supinate your arches.
4. Do 2 - 3 sets of 10 - 15 repetitions.
Stair arch raises
1. Stand on steps with your left foot one step higher than your right foot.
2. Use your left foot for balance as you lower your right foot down, so your heel hangs lower than the step.
3. Slowly lift your right heel as high as you can, focusing on strengthening your arch.
4. Rotate your arch inward as your knee and calf rotate slightly to the side, causing your arch to become higher.
5. Slowly lower back down to the starting position.
6. Do 2 - 3 sets of 10 - 15 repetitions on both sides.
1. Sit in a chair with a towel under your feet.
2. Root your heels into the floor as you curl your toes to scrunch up the towel.
3. Press your toes into your foot.
4. Hold for a few seconds and release.
5. Make sure to keep the ball of your foot pressed into the floor or towel. Maintain an awareness of the arch of your foot being strengthened.
6. Do 2 - 3 sets of 10 - 15 repetitions.
At Diablo Foot & Ankle, we know being on your feet all day can be difficult, especially with fallen arches. Give us a call today at (925) 464-1982 to request a consultation with our amazing specialist. Let us help you stand a little taller today!