Also called as pes planus or fallen arches, flat feet is a condition wherein the muscles in the leg become weak, causing the arch of the foot to collapse. This in turn causes the entire sole of the foot to come in contact (almost or completely) with the ground. In some individuals, the condition affects just one foot (unilateral) while others develop the condition on both feet (bilateral).
Causes For Fallen Arches
Fallen arches or flat feet can be caused by injuries or wounds to the leg, or by hereditary factors. The condition can also arise in individuals who stick to wearing shoes that do not provide sufficient arch support.
Ways To Reverse Flat Feet
Although fallen arches are not considered dangerous, they can potentially cause conditions like foot pain, keen pain, plantar fasciitis, shin splints and Achilles tendinitis. And so, if you are diagnosed with fallen arches, here are some simple tips that can help you get back the arch in your feet.
Foot Wear Considerations
Avoid wearing shoes that do not have arch support and avoid wearing high heels for longer periods. Wearing shoes that provide arch support is considered as one of the easiest and most effective ways to reverse fallen arches.
Sit down and place your feet flat on the floor. Use your hand to stretch the toes of the left foot backward until both the toes and the front part of the foot lift off the ground. Make sure that the heel remains planted on the ground though. Keep this position for about 15 seconds and repeat the process with the right foot. Continue the exercise for at least 5 sets for each foot.
Squat down on the floor with your knees bent and your hands placed behind your back. Keeping the heel on the floor, lift the toes and the middle of the foot from the ground. Cramp the toes and remain in the same position for about 15 seconds before coming back to your original stance. Repeat the exercise at least 5 times.
Another simple exercise to reverse fallen arches involves spreading your feet on opposite directions while keeping the heels connected. Hold your ankles and keep spreading your feet until you can stretch no more. Cramp your toes and create an arch in your feet by making sure only the heel and toes touch the floor.
Sit down on the ground with your legs stretched straight in front of you. Make sure only the heels touch the ground. Now raise your left leg and using the last toe finger, touch the last toe finger of the right feet. Keep the position for about 15 seconds and repeat the exercise with the right leg.
Stand with your feet placed together on the ground. Lift the right leg and place it over the left leg in a criss cross position. The middle portion of the right foot must be placed over the left foot. Apply some pressure on the right foot and stay that way for about 15 seconds. Repeat the exercise with the left foot.
Tennis or hand balls can be used to reverse fallen arches quickly and effectively. Place your heels on a tennis ball, making sure only the toes touch the ground. Hold onto an object for support.
Exchange pressure from the right heel to the left heel for every 10 second counts, breathing in and out as you do so. Repeat the exercise for about 3 minutes and move the ball to the toes, making sure that the heels touch the ground this time. Repeat the same exercise (moving the ball from side to side) for the toes as well.
Photo Credit: Himalayaninstitute.org