Fallen arches and flat feet exercises and overview

Patient: Hi! I have fallen arches and very weak achilles tendons (they are almost not “visible” so saying). My achilles tendeons are not strong and visible as it should be. The outside of the foot also “separates” from the rest and flattens out. Can you give me some advice to rebuild arches and strenghtening my weak achilles tendons and my muscles in the feet?


Doctor: Flat feet are chronic (permanent) unless you begin to strenghten and strretching your calves, update your shoes that pro rovide structural support for your arches, get arch supports that are fitted for you, and keep your legs stretched and hydrated. This is for all you working on your feet for hours either at a business or for those stay at home parents.  To stretch the calf, stand two steps away from a solid wall so that you can lean on it with your forearms resting your head on your hands easily. Bend the leg you do not want to stretch at this moment, step the other leg back behind you with toes pointing straight toward the wall. Hold and breath deeply for 10-15 seconds and release slowly. For the outer calf: With one leg crossed Indian style, straighten the other leg out in front of you while sitting on the floor. With the opposite hand of the outer leg you are going to stretch, grab the outer edge of your foot along the pinky toe side. Pull gently toward the center as shown in the image. If you find it difficult to grab your outer foot with your leg straight, then bend slightly at the knee until you are able to. Continue to pull gently on your outer foot until you feel a stretch shown in the dots of the image. Breath deeply 10-15 seconds and release. Arch supports are helpful: Some begin this exercise and stretch system with the Walk-fit arch supports. Walk-fit has three levels of arch thicknesses, beginning with the lowest level for 1-3 weeks on a regular basis, a person can move up to the second and then the third arch thickness stage. This slowly retrains your feet (sometimes irritating) to bring that arch back up. Along with the stretches and exercises listed above and keeping your shoes fresh or rotating between shoes, you will improve the strength of your foot archs.


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Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Toronto. He currently operates Infinity Health Centre, a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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