Flat foot syndrome does not directly harm health. However, if there is no intervention, over time this syndrome can cause many troubles in daily life, even lead to abnormalities in the spine. Among the treatment methods, exercises for flat feet are a safe choice, preferred by many people.
Benefits of flat feet exercises
Flatfoot syndrome is a condition in which the soles of the feet are flat, with no concavity (plantar arch). This condition can cause pain or discomfort for the patient when exercising a lot. In most cases, both legs are affected. A few affect only one leg. Without early intervention, the patient will have a bad gait, which over time can cause many problems in the spine such as scoliosis.
Flatfoot syndrome is treated with a variety of methods depending on the specific condition. In particular, exercises for flat feet are a safe and effective method, applied by many patients.
Physical therapy is very good for patients with flat feet. The advantage of this method is that it supports muscle building, strengthens tendons, and compensates for structural instability of the foot. Before exercising, patients should consult a doctor or physiotherapist to prevent injury and improve treatment effectiveness.
6 effective and safe exercises for flat feet
1. Heel stretch
Heel stretching exercise is one of the simple and effective flat foot physiotherapy exercises. Patients can do this exercise at any time.
The benefit of this exercise is that it helps to stretch the muscles around the foot, helping to reduce stress and friction on the foot structure, thereby improving the pain caused by flat feet. In addition, the heel stretch exercise also helps to stretch the muscles in the toes and ankles to increase foot activity.
- Start in a standing position facing the wall, hands resting on the wall at eye level.
- Slowly bring one leg forward, the other extended backward.
- Both feet press firmly into the floor.
- The spine stays straight, the front knee bends and pushes the body against the wall. At this time, the practitioner will feel a stretch in the back calves. Hold this position for about 30 seconds. Do 4 times on each side.
2. Roll the ball with your feet
The exercise of rolling the ball with your feet will help reduce discomfort and pain caused by flat feet. Practitioners can roll their feet with tennis balls or golf balls.
- Start with an upright position or sitting in a chair.
- Always keep your back straight throughout the exercise.
- Place the ball on the sole of the flat foot.
- Use the soles of your feet to roll and move the ball. Note focusing mainly on the arch area of the foot. Practice each leg for about 5 minutes.
3. Raise the arch of the foot
The arch lift exercise strengthens the muscles of the bottom of the foot and makes the leg more flexible.
- Start in a standing position with your back straight, feet shoulder width apart.
- With both feet tilted outward, lift the inside of the foot to force the body to the outside of the foot.
- All toes are in contact with the floor at all times.
- Slowly bring your legs back to the starting position. Continuously repeat the above movements about 10-15 beats / time, then rest for about 20 seconds;
- Do about 2-3 sets in each training session.
4. Leg lift with platform
Leg lifts with podiums are exercises for flat feet, which help strengthen the feet and aid in balance when moving. In addition, this exercise also helps strengthen the core muscles, aid in improving posture, prevent back pain and reduce the risk of injury related to flat feet.
- Start in a standing position on a platform, low chair, or stepladder with your left foot one step higher than your right.
- Bend right knee, lower body. Then, use your left foot for balance.
- Lift the right heel as high as possible, focusing on strengthening the arch. Perform the movement about 2-3 times, repeat about 10-15 both sides of the leg.
5. Toe lift
Toe lift exercises focus on bringing your toes off the floor when standing or sitting. The advantage of this exercise can be to help strengthen and stabilize the ankle. A healthy ankle and ankle will provide good support for balance, helping the patient to move more stably in daily tasks.
- Sitting posture
- Start by sitting in a chair, feet on the floor, hands on the thighs or arm of the chair.
- Place your right foot firmly on the floor, and slowly lift your right toes off the floor.
- Hold the position for about 3-5 seconds, then gently lower your toes.
- Repeat this movement about 10-15 times, then switch legs. Do 3 sets for each leg.
- Start in a standing position and press your big toe into the floor, then lift the other four toes.
- Continue to press four toes into the floor and then lift your big toe.
- Hold each position 5-10 times, each lift for about 5 seconds.
- Switch legs and do the same with the other leg.
6. Pick up objects with your toes
The advantage of the toes picking exercise is that it helps strengthen the muscles in the bottom of the foot and toes. Regular practice of this exercise will help increase flexibility and strength for the feet, while helping to reduce muscle pain very well, improving the overall health of the feet.
- Start by sitting in a straight chair, feet flat on the floor.
- Place about 20 marbles and a small bowl in front of the floor.
- Use your toes to pick up the marbles one by one and place them in the bowl. Use one foot to pick up all 20 marbles and put them in the bowl.
- Repeat the same with the other leg. This exercise can be done at any time of the day.
Exercises to avoid
According to experts, the type of exercise to avoid will depend on the condition of each patient's legs. However, most cases of flat feet do not need to be too concerned about this. Just every time you do your best but still have no pain or no symptoms of severe discomfort or tension, that's fine.
However, advice for people with flat feet is to be careful with exercises that can put undue stress on the legs. Typically, forms of movement such as basketball, long-distance running. Patients do not necessarily have to avoid these forms of exercise completely. You just need to give your body more time to adapt to high-intensity activities.
1. Use orthopedic insoles
In children aged 2-7, in the process of development if flat feet are flat, mostly medical treatment. Patients are often prescribed to use orthopedic insoles (special pads when wearing shoes). This accessory is designed to fit the child's foot size, creating arches on the soles of the feet. When walking every day, under the influence of body gravity, orthopedic soles will help support the foot bone, creating an arch for the child's foot bone to return to the correct axis of development.
However, this treatment is only highly effective for flat feet in children (the younger the better). Doctors usually prescribe to apply until the leg bones return to normal. For patients over 7 years of age, using a foot orthotic may take longer and may be difficult to achieve the desired effect.
2. Flat feet improvement surgery
For cases of poor response to the above non-invasive methods or increasingly severe manifestations, surgery may be indicated. Surgery helps relieve pain, create a new arch of the foot, and improve foot function for the patient.
The sites of pain caused by the disease vary widely. Therefore, there is no uniform surgical approach for this condition. The surgical method is usually based on the doctor's judgment and experience. In addition, surgery for flat feet will depend on age, severity of symptoms, and degree of structural deformity of the foot.
The advantage of these surgical methods is to improve the effectiveness, almost completely, of the symptoms. Surgery is often accompanied by rehabilitation methods to help the patient recover to normal effectively.
Notes when performing exercises for flat feet
When exercising, keep in mind:
- Depending on the severity of the flat foot to choose the right exercise. In severe cases, the legs appear nerve, tendon, and joint complications. Patients should promptly seek medical advice and treatment.
- Avoid performing movements that are too strong or using strong orthopedic objects that seriously affect bones and joints.
- Consistently practice for a long time to re-adjust the structure of the foot to be as stable as possible. This is a simple, non-invasive treatment. Therefore, patients need to spend more time. However, this method will ensure safety and not cost too much.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects because straining can make flat feet worse.
- Applying a suitable diet, good weight control helps reduce pressure on the feet.
- Balance work and rest time to relax the body, avoid causing prolonged stress.
Exercises for the upper flat feet when done regularly will help improve the condition of flat feet. To increase the effectiveness of treatment, patients should combine exercise with medical examination, thereby getting a more specific diagnosis. You can easily choose an effective treatment that is right for your condition. This will help patients shorten time, save costs, prevent many risks and unwanted complications.