5 Ways to Correct Flat Feet Without Orthotics
All too often, patient's come into my office complaining of pain in their feet, and many times it is due to "flat feet", or fallen arches. So many people are dependent on mega supportive (stiff) footwear and/or orthotics to get through the day without pain! While for some, orthotics are necessary, there is so much you can do to help strengthen the feet, rebuild the arch, and lessen pain! Our feet are our foundation, it is so important that they are strong and supporting the rest of our structure, daily! Read my tips below to give your feet some TLC today!
1. Proprioceptive Input in the Morning
Start of your day by warming up your feet! My favorite way is to take a lacrosse or tennis ball on the ground, and rub the bottom of the foot up and down over the ball for 1-2 minutes. Then switch feet. This increases the ability of our feet to activate and feel the ground. It also loosens the plantar fascia, which for many people is taught and tender in the morning.
2. Get in the Right Shoes for your Feet!
Being in shoes that are the correct size, offer adequate support (not too stiff!), and have enough room for your toes to move is CRITICAL! Read my post on finding the perfect shoe for you, here.
3. Get Your Toes Moving
Did you know, that just like our fingers, our toes should be able to move independently? Crazy right? Every day, practice moving your toes to strengthen the muscles that allow us to grip the ground and stand strong. For a great video demonstration on how to do this, watch this video.
4. Toe Spreading
Give your feet a treat and purchase some yoga toes, here. Toe spreading is proven to reduce foot pain, improve toe mobility, and even help treat conditions such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, and hammer toe. Start slow with this! Wear them for a few minutes, and gradually work your way up, it should not be painful!
5. Short Foot Exercises
This is one of the best ways to work at actually re-building the arch, see the short video demonstration, below. Do 10-20 repetitions, 3 times per day to help strengthen the muscles which hold the arches of the foot up. For bonus points, while watching TV or reading place a small dish towel on the ground. Over and over practice scrunching the towel with your feet! Another great way to strengthen the foot.