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Exercises to Help Build Arches

There are two types of flat feet; flexible and inflexible. If your feet are flat when you are sitting, but form an arch when you step, you have flexible flat feet.  If your feet stay flat even when you step, you have inflexible flat feet. Flat feet are not usually dangerous, but it’s a good idea to build your arches if possible to prevent future injury or pain.  Here are a few exercises that can help you.

  1. Towel Grab – Take a towel and place it flat on the floor right in front of your feet. Reach out with your toes and try to pull the towel under your feet in bunches. Keep going until the whole towel is bunched under.
  2. Tip Toe – Stand up and slowly raise your feet until you are in tip-toe position. Stay in that position for 5 seconds, then slowly lower your feet until you are halfway down. Stay in that position for another 5 seconds. Then fully lower. Repeat 10 times.
  3. Downward Dog – Start in standing position and reach down to your feet. “Walk” your hands out until your body has formed a “V.” Push the floor with your hands and feet and stretch your body as much as possible. Make sure to push your heels down toward the floor.
  4. Toe Piano – Pretend your toes are playing the piano and wiggle them up and down in any order (to music if you’d like.) Raise your toes as high as you can and don’t move too quickly.

Try these exercises for a few weeks until you start to notice a difference. Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center has been treating patients for over eighteen years. If you have any questions or foot or ankle ailments, call our Centreville, VA office at 703-996-3000 or make an appointment here.

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