The arch in our foot acts as a spring that is incredibly important when it comes to the mechanics of running. A study found that there was an average 5mm drop in foot arch after runners ran a half marathon.
Performing some stretches and foot exercises at home can often help raise a fallen arch. Here are a few easy exercises to get you started.
Just like we’ve previously done in our best fitness tracker for diabetics, today we’re going to take a deep dive into how to fix flat feet.
How to remedy fallen arches
Yup, that’s right and if you have flat feet, it’s a lot harder than it sounds! Stand with your feet squarely on the ground. Lift your big toe off the ground, while keeping the other 4 toes firmly planted on the ground. Next, keep your big toe on the ground, while lifting the other 4 off the ground. Repeat several sets of this routine on both feet.
Basically, toe curls are like sit-ups for your feet. Place a dish towel on the ground. Step on the dish towel. While keeping your heel planted on the ground, try to pick up the dish towel with your toes by curling them under. Then release the towel, so it lies flat on the ground. Work towards being able to repeat the action 20 times with each foot.
3. Calf Raises
Stand with your toes on the edge of a curb, with your heels hanging off the edge. Move your heels up and down. If you have trouble balancing, place a chair in front of you to steady yourself.
4.Hip flexor stretches
If you have flat feet, your hip flexors are most likely tight, since they’re over-compensating for the loose muscles in your feet. Sit down and press the bottoms of your feet together. Pull your feet as close to your body as you can, and then slowly press your knees towards the ground.
You can also perform a Downward Dog, by placing your hands on the ground, while attempting to keep your feet flat on the ground, making a triangle with your body, using the ground as the base.
Is surgery an option?
Sure, you can have reconstruction surgery on your feet. However, it is incredibly painful and takes a long time to recover.
What about orthotics?
You can wear either custom or generic orthotics. Orthotics artificially support the arches of your feet. This can relieve pain caused by flat feet, but only while wearing the orthotics. However, one study suggests that runners who ran with artificial support continued to experience pain while running.
Will going barefoot help?
Sure! After all, it would make sense that out feet weren’t intended to be stuffed into shoes all day. In fact, a study conducted on children found that children who wore shoes were 3 to 4 times more likely be prone to flat feet as an adult.
Some claim an advantage to barefoot running is that it is better and more natural for your feet. However, there have not been many studies done on the health of the foot muscles comparing barefoot runners to shod runners. One very small study suggests that there is no significant difference and that running barefoot “may not” result in a strengthening of the foot muscles.
If in doubt, find a podiatrist you trust!
Ultimately if you’re experiencing pain or think that your love of running has given you flat feet, it’s best to seek out a podiatrist who can help you make sure that you’re doing everything you can to fix your flat feet without causing further injury. Taking proper care of your feet is incredibly important; after all, they’re your most essential running asset!