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7 Best Flat Feet Treatments – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo, and today I’m going to show you my top seven treatments for flat feet. so let’s get started. So flat feet are basically when the arches fall. this could be from weakness. this can be from a mechanical issue in the foot, even up to the knee. so basically you have your normal arch in your foot and flat feet is when it goes all the way down, and so that causes a lot of pain and irritation. so a great way to get that loosened up and going is to start off just with a simple ball roll. this is a lacrosse ball. you can use a tennis ball, a racquet ball any kind of thing that is pretty pretty firm. just to start loosening up that fascia underneath.

So I like to start with this just one or two minutes of rolling. you don’t have to go super crazy with it, but you’re really just trying to loosen up that fascia before you go into the stretches and exercises. go all the way to the heel cause that fascia goes all the way down there, and then all the way up to the ball of your feet. so just roll it through. if you have any specific spots that are extra tender, usually that’s right in the arch there, you can focus on that spot a little bit, but you’re not pushing so hard where it’s painful. while you’re doing it, it might be a little bit painful, but you really want it to just be loosening up and getting it going. so if you’re really hurting while you’re doing this, you’re probably pushing too hard and just lightly roll on it.

Again this is just to get it loosened up and get it going. so after you do about maybe one minute two minutes of it depending on how much you’ve been doing that day, then you can go into an exercise where you’re just basically lifting the arch of your foot. so now you want to start exercising that those muscles right in the arch there. the way to do that is you want to really try and keep your heel and your toes down, and you’re just going to curl that arch up into a C position. so I like starting off sitting doing it you can eventually go to standing, but while you’re trying to figure it out, sometimes it’s really hard and sometimes your foot tries to cramp while you’re doing it. so just take it nice and slow.

Don’t feel like you have to arch it up super high the first time, and if you have that flat feet, it might be kind of hard to do the first time. so trying to keep the toes down, trying to keep the heel down, and just kind of curl up that part. so you can see there and then come back down. so just a little hold at the top, little squeeze, you’re you’re squeezing those muscles in there you’re exercising them, and then you’re coming back down. so again, I would just start off with a little bit of these because if you haven’t been doing these, your muscles might try and tighten up or cramp up, so I just start off with ten. you know maybe one or two sets of ten if you feel good, you can kind of work your way up from there.

Another great treatment for flat feet is to have some custom or semi-custom insoles, and I really like insoles because I have a medium arch but I pronate my foot so having an insole in there really really helps. and if you have flat feet, this kind of helps bring it up and put your foot back into a neutral position because a lot of times with those flat feet, your foot rolls in and you get that pronated position, and then that can cause problems in your knees, problems in your hips, problems with walking in general. and the folks at Tread Labs sent me their semi custom orthotics, and so this is really nice here because it has four different arch sizes that you can use, and when you go to their website it takes you through some stuff where you can pick what you want, and what shoe you’re going to use it for and everything like that.

And so this is really nice. what’s super great about this is this part is the part that changes the height of the arch, and they guarantee it forever. so this is something that they guaranteed forever that it will work and what’s even cooler about it is usually with insoles the top part here ends up getting worn out and that’s when you know it starts rolling up and and get gets worn because you’re using it a lot and rubbing it, and then people just then throw those insoles away, but what you can do with Tread Labs is you can order just that top part, so when that starts wearing out, you don’t have to get rid of your insole you just order some of those, go to their website and show you how to change. so that’s really really awesome – and you can see here where mine is the medium arch and then so if you are not sure what you need you can go to their website and use their customer service for helping.

But a lot of times you kind of know what your arch size is and if it doesn’t work out for you you give them a call and you can try another size and things like that. so that’s really cool as well. so like any insoles orthotics semi, or custom, full custom you really want to build your feet up to these. so if you have flat feet, if you have high arches, and you haven’t used insoles before, you don’t want to just stick these in your shoes and go all day because your feet are gonna get really really mad with you.

You really want to kind of build them up. this just like exercising in general, so I usually recommend that when you first get them, just wear them for about thirty minutes around the house and it might be a little sore in that arch especially if it’s changing that position a lot, but that’s pretty normal. and then the next day maybe go an hour then the next day two hours and you kind of work your way up from there, but I really don’t recommend just putting them in and going all day because your feet will be really sore, and you’ll you’ll think that it’s the insoles but it’s really just that your feet are trying to get used to it.

So make sure you work your way up with the time that you have your insoles in your shoes. if you’re interested in purchasing the semi-custom insoles from Tread Labs, make sure and click on the link up here. so the next exercise is going to be a towel crunch. so it’s kind of just like it sounds with your foot you can take any kind of towel this one is a little bit thinner, so it’s going to make it harder which is good, but if you are starting off you might want a towel this a little more coarse because that’s a little easier to grab with your toes.

But basically you’re just crunching up the towel with your toes, so you’re just kind of squeezing in those toes to try and crunch up the towel. so you can see I have a little bit of a hard time, but I’m not really great at it anyways, but this is just again working those muscles of the feet working the muscles in the arches really just to get them going and get them working because you can see as I curl in my toes, I’m working that arch area.

So going back to the same thing that I said with the other exercise if your feet haven’t been doing a whole lot of exercises, this might try and make them cramp, so don’t feel like you have to go crazy with this. just maybe try and crunch it ten times or time yourself, do thirty Seconds to a minute, and then take a break because if you do too much those muscles are going to get really really mad at you so just trying to crunch it up.

And again the different sizes of towel it’s like a beach towel will be a little bit easier and then if you get like a kitchen towel like this, then it’s a little bit harder. so the next exercise is going to be a windshield wiper, and the anterior tibialis and the posterior tibialis where we get shin splints sometimes are the muscles that help hold up the arch there they hold up that inner side of the arch, so you want to exercise those muscles because if those become weak that also makes you have a flat foot or fallen arch. so you really want to exercise those muscles as well. so a really easy exercise for that is the windshield wipers. so if you want to prop up your foot you can if you just want to hold it up in the air you can, but make sure that your heel is not on anything so you have nice free movement so all you’re going to do is just kind of like it sounds, is a windshield wiper movement.

But really go out and up and then in and up. so you’re gonna go out, pull it up getting that anterior tibialis, and then in and up getting that posterior tibialis. and you see my toes trying to curl a little bit and sometimes they’ll do that, but just going back and forth get a really big squeeze at the end, a little pause and come back. so it’s not just this and it’s not the whole leg going back and forth, you’re really trying to do that at the ankle in the foot. so out and up and then in and up. so again just starting off with you know ten or fifteen of these, one or two sets, and then if that feels okay, you can work your way up from there. so the last exercise and stretch is going to be standing up.

So this stretch standing up you’ll need a step a curb something where you can kind of be up on it and hang your heel off. this is a planar fascia of stretch, and I really really like this one because really stretches it out. it helps stretch out that arch as well, but make sure you’re being safe while you do it. so if you have a little bit of balance issues, make sure you have something to hold on to especially if you’re on a higher step if you’re on a curb I usually tell people to put one foot a little bit more forward to give you some balance. you’re going to take the ball of your foot and put it right on the edge with the step or the curb, and then take your heel and just drop it straight down. you’ll feel it in the calf area, you’ll feel it in your foot. it’s just a great stretch for that lower leg. so this since this is a full stretch, you want to hold this for 30 seconds. so just nice and relaxed.

Again if you need to hold on to something, if you’re doing it with your stairs and you have rails, make sure and hold on because it’s not a balance exercise, it’s a stretch. I really want you to be able to focus on that stretch. so after you do that give it a little 10 to 15 second break, and do that a total of three times. I like stretching it best without my shoes on because I feel like that stretches that plantar fascia area more, but if you do it with your shoes on that’s fine, too. the shoes will help give you a little more of a grip or if you’ve been running you can just do it on the curb on the side with your shoes on, but if you’re at home, just stretching out, I feel like you get a little better stretch without your shoes on. just make sure that you’re stable and your foot doesn’t slip off like that with the sock.

So three times thirty Seconds. the last exercise is just going to be a heel raise. so again if you have a little bit of balance issues, make sure you’re holding on to something because you really want to focus on the exercise. put your feet about shoulder width apart with your toes facing forward, and all you’re going to do is just go up on your toes lifting your heels, and then nice and slowly come back down. so this is a controlled movement here. I’m not just going up and down and using momentum like that, but really coming up nice and slow, and then nice and slow coming back down.

So again just starting off with 10 or 15 of these. if your feet are really sore and hurting, this is going to be a little tough to do if you get to 20-25, and it’s pretty easy, then you can start doing it with just one foot. so just coming up nice and tall and then nice coming back down. those were your top seven treatments for flat feet. if you’re interested in purchasing the tread labs semi-custom insoles, make sure and click on the link up here, and don’t forget to subscribe by clicking down here. and remember be safe (keep your feet happy), have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

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