Raising the Arches and Eliminating the Pain: Five Items You Need If You Have Flat Feet or Fallen Arches
Flat feet or fallen arches are a relatively common issue in Australia, and if you suffer from flat feet, you should see podiatrists. Flat feet cause a myriad of issues including pain and obesity. Luckily, there are many things you can do to deal with flat feet. In particular, here are five essential items that can help:
1. Custom Orthotics
Custom orthotics are arch-supporting insoles that you slip inside your shoes. Rather than being the generic type of insoles you find at many shops, custom orthotics are made for your feet and they work gradually.
They start by lifting the arch just slightly, and as your feet become less flat, you get new custom orthotics with higher arches.
2. Hand Towel
While you wait for the custom orthotics to reshape your foot, it also helps to exercise the ligaments and tendons that hold up your foot. One fabulous exercise that strengthens the arch is the toe curl.
Take off your shoes, lay a hand towel on the floor and stand on it with your feet about shoulder width apart. Now, curl the toes of your left foot toward you, gathering up the towel as you curl your toes. This motion causes your arch to flex. Hold your clenched toes for a few seconds, release and repeat 12 times. Repeat with the right foot.
When you have flat feet, your ankles may also turn toward the ground. Called over-pronation, this twist of your ankle joint can put a lot of strain on your achilles tendon, which is supported by your calf muscles.
To give your tendon and your ankle a bit more support, try strengthening your calf muscles. Stand on a step, and let your heels hang over the edge. Lower your heels toward the ground beneath the step and feel the stretch extend through your calf. Repeat several times, and as the exercise becomes easier for you, try wearing weight bands around your calf muscles.
4. Resistance Band
Even with your custom orthotics, when you exercise, you may experience shin splints due to your flat feet. Shin splints feel like sharp pains along the side of your tibia bone (the inner bone on your lower leg).
To reduce pain from shin splints, place a resistance band around your thighs and walk forward using large steps. The resistance from the band helps to stretch the tight muscles around your shins as well as your hamstrings.
5. Yoga Mat
Unfortunately, if your flat feet are putting your body out of alignment, you may experience a lot of back pain. Invest in a yoga mat so that you can stretch your back while lying on the floor. As your arches start to improve, take the mat to a yoga class and enjoy the restorative relief of stretching and breathing.