5 effective exercises to help relieve discomfort associated with flat feet

Here are some gentle and efficient exercises you can do at home to address flat feet and alleviate associated pain.

5 effective exercises to help relieve discomfort associated with flat feet

Flat feet, also known as collapsed or fallen arches, can affect one or both feet and stem from various factors such as obesity, genetics, pregnancy, injuries, or arthritis. Additionally, neurological disorders or muscular diseases like spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy can contribute to this condition.

It’s crucial to properly address flat feet to prevent imbalance and alleviate stress and pain in the feet. If left untreated, flat feet can lead to complications. Here are some gentle and effective exercises you can easily perform at home to manage this condition.

1. Ball Rolls

It’s surprising how a simple tennis ball, often used for cricket, can aid in treating flat feet. Rolling a tennis or golf ball under the foot can help alleviate the effects of a fallen or collapsed arch, subsequently reducing the pain induced by foot stress. Here’s how you can perform a ball roll to address flat feet and find relief from associated pain.

Ball Rolls

Sit on a chair or small table with a tennis ball positioned under the affected foot, maintaining a straight spine.
Rotate your foot in a circular motion, gently rolling the ball beneath the arch of the foot, avoiding the heel or toe area.
Continue this exercise for approximately 2-3 minutes, then relax.

2. Calf Stretch

This exercise targets the calf muscles located at the back of your lower leg. Strengthening these muscles is crucial for alleviating pain in the feet, ankles, or heels. Tight calf muscles can often contribute to limited ankle flexibility and subsequent pain. Stretching these muscles can help alleviate tension in the muscles and ligaments of the feet. Here’s how to perform a calf stretch to relieve foot pain associated with flat feet.

Calf Stretch
  • Stand facing a wall, placing your hands flat against it.
  • Extend your affected leg behind you, keeping it straight, while bending the other leg in front.
  • Ensure that your heel stays firmly on the ground and lean forward until you feel a stretch in the calf of your back leg.
  • Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds, then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat this exercise for 4 repetitions.

3. Toe Yoga

Among the diverse forms of yoga, toe yoga specifically targets the muscles in the toes. Since these muscles often lack strength and control, it’s essential to engage them. Stretching and exercising these muscles can enhance toe strength and contribute to stabilizing the front foot.

Toe Yoga
  • Begin by standing upright on the floor, evenly distributing weight on both feet.
  • Lift the big toe of your affected foot while keeping the other four toes pressed against the ground.
  • Hold this position for 5-7 seconds.
  • Next, press your big toe down while lifting the other four toes.
  • Hold for 5-7 seconds, then release.
  • Repeat this sequence for 10 repetitions.

4. Short Foot

Short foot exercise is a simple yet effective way to address flat feet, and it can be done at home without any equipment. This exercise specifically targets the small muscles that support the arch on the inside of the foot. By sliding the foot along the ground without curling the toes, short foot exercise has been shown to enhance the foot arch and alleviate associated pain. Follow these steps to perform the exercise correctly and maximize its benefits.

  • Sit on a chair with your foot flat on the floor and toes pointing forward.
  • Keeping your foot flat, slide it backward toward your heel.
  • Hold this position for 5-7 seconds, then release.
  • Relax your foot briefly, then repeat.
  • Complete 10 repetitions of this exercise.

5. Heel Raises

We’re going to revisit a childhood trick to address flat feet: raising your heels. This exercise engages various leg and foot muscles that support the foot arch. By simply raising your heels and balancing on them, you can effectively work on this area. If needed, you can use a wall for support. Follow these steps to practice the heel raise exercise and find relief from the discomfort associated with flat feet.

Heel Raises
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Raise your heels as high as possible off the ground.
  • Ensure even pressure across the foot.
  • Hold this position for 2-3 seconds, then slowly return to neutral.
  • Repeat 10 to 20 times.

Exercise isn’t just about weight loss or muscle building; it can also stretch muscles and improve various health conditions. Flat feet can cause significant pain and imbalance in the body. It’s important to address this condition early to prevent further complications. Follow these simple exercises to treat flat feet and alleviate associated pain.