Flat feet are a common problem and can lead to ankle/foot pain, knee pain, or even hip pain! Yes, arch supports do help sometimes, but, sometimes that just isn’t enough! So what do you do? What should you do? Well, it depends, a major factor that plays a role in flat feet is age. Infants, in particular, will have flat feet until they develop stronger foot muscles to support an arch. So what does that mean to parents? Get your kids playing barefoot. Have them play on uneven terrain. It encourages their foot musculature to get stronger and support a healthy/normal foot arch.
So what happens if you are an adult and your body has already matured? Well, it is never too late to get stronger. That is for sure! Bony formation, ligaments, tendons and muscles form the components of your foot. If you are an adult, your bones are pretty much as they are. Also, you cannot directly alter your ligaments either…unless you are talking about surgery. So that leaves muscles and tendons. Tendons are the components of connective tissue that connect muscles to bone. You may be saying to yourself, “That’s great, so how do I strengthen those muscles?”…Great question.
Put those toes to work. Sit down. Place about 20 marbles of different shapes and sizes and lay them on the ground below your feet. Place an empty cup next to the marbles. Open up those toes (Flay them out) and grasp one (YES,ONE) marble at a time and gently place it into the cup. Repeat until all marbles are in the cup. Then…Empty them again! Complete 3 sets of this exercise. Do this everyday!
Alternative to MARBLE PICKUP
Same principle as above. Grab a towel. Sit down. Open the towel up and scrunch the towel every 2 inches (Making hills and valleys). After about 4-7 hills are made, open your toes and grab one hill and pull back towards the chair about 2 inches. Repeat until you have grabbed and pulled each hill. Repeat 3 sets of this exercise. Do this everyday!
“Muscles in the bank”