Flat feet is a medical condition that is termed for feet that do not have arch. This condition can be inherited inborn or may be acquired as you age from an infant to an adult. In infants during the stages of their physical development, flat feet may occur naturally and it is normal. Although if as they age, they still have lack of support from feet for their body; a treatment may be needed. In many situations, flat feet doesn’t have any negative impact on activities of adults but in some cases it may limit your ability to walk, run or do any other sporting activity. This happens because your feet ligaments, tissues and bones may not give your body complete support for these activities. Some may even witness chronic pain and stress around feet. So you would need to fix it.
Best Exercises for Flat Feet:
Here we are sharing some important exercises that would enable you to fix flat feet to some extent or even completely:
- Towel Grab: This exercise improves condition of those suffering from flat feet with pain. Not only it would reduce pains but would also strengthen your feet muscles. For this exercise, you would need a hand towel. Place it on the ground completely flat and stand on it. With the use of your toes and feet bottom, try scrunching the towel up and then flatten it again as well. Repeat this exercise 4-5 times.
- Toe Spreads: Another exercise that you can do for flat feet is toe spreads.You can do this exercise in a sitting, standing or lying down position. Just spread your toes as wide as possible and try to make spaces between each toe. Keep your toes in that position for 9-10 seconds. Repeat this exercise 10 times for each foot.
- Toe Points: With the use of your toes, try to point various things in the room. Flex foot and keep it in that position for 4-5 seconds. Release foot. Repeat this exercise 8-10 times for each foot.
- Arch Raises: For this exercise you would need a stair or a raised board that is at least 4-5 inches above the ground level. Stand on that step or board using ball of your foot only while rest of your foot will hang below toes. Begin in a neutral position and then raise tips while pressing down using toes. Try to resist the need of dropping your heel too. This exercise is for your arch strengthening and you should repeat it 8-10 times.
- Heel Raises: Another rehab exercise for your flat feet that is focused on strengthening your feet muscles is heel raise. Achilles tendon located towards the heel bone is stretched with this exercise. You need a chair for this exercise and just stand behind it with your hands on back of chair. Try to raise your body on toes and remain in that position for 4-5 seconds. Remove hands and slowly try to lower yourself while keeping the balance. Repeat these raises 8-10 times.
- Toes Stand: Stand on the tips of your toes and try walking around. Do so for 4-5 minutes each day for strengthening and stretching.
- Side Walk: Stand with your shoulder wide. While trying to bend your knees, roll onto your feet’s outer edges. Make sure you have your weight on outer feet and then slowly try to raise up on toes. Hold in that arch stretching position for 4-5 seconds. Repeat this exercise 5 times.
- Calf Stretch: This exercise would focus on stretching your calf muscles. Stand in front of a wall with your arms at shoulder length placed on wall. Lift one leg and bend knee while trying to keep other leg straight with heel flat on the ground. Lean forward to stretch your calf muscles. Remain in that position for 4-5 seconds and release. Now repeat with other leg. Repeat this exercise 8 times with each foot.
- Single Stand: Stand on one of your legs and balance by placing your hands out to the side if needed. This one leg stand can be practice with each foot and you can alleviate the benefits by trying to raise and lower your foot arch (of the leg that you are standing on). This exercise would not only enhance balance but would strengthen your foot muscles too. Repeat this exercise 8 times with each foot.
- Rolling:You can use a roller for this exercise to stretch your foot arch. If you don’t have a roller, you can use any other item like a food can, a rolled toweletc. Just place it under your foot and begin to roll it from heel to toes back and forth. Do this exercise for some minutes.
- Sand Walk: Walk barefoot on the sand is one of the best exercises for strengthening your feet.
- Medical Treatment: Medical treatment with intensive physical therapy can also be a part of your rehabilitation from flat feet especially if your feet muscles are week but they do have flexibility. Some stretches and exercises are detailed in these treatments that would strengthen your muscles and would aid in restoration and functionality of your feet arch. Usually it is a long process and would need around 4-8 weeks to show its effects. Apart from stretching exercises, your physiotherapist may even do taping for your feet and other methods that work well for treatment of other foot problems like plantar fasciitis.
The exercises that we have shared here are some of the best ones for treatment of flat feet. But there are many other different exercises too that work effectively for flat feet. Additionally, you can make your variations with these exercises. If you opt for some of these exercises and do not see improvement, remember that progress will only come over time and within some weeks of doing these exercises with consistency. Modify and do these exercises as per your comfort and you will be able to see good improvements.