Flat feet are a result of arches not developing properly in childhood. However, a fallen arch can also develop after an injury. It is a somewhat common but usually painless condition. That said, a few people may experience pain, and their athletic performance can be negatively impacted. Flat feet sometimes can lead to ankle and knee issues as well.
Risk factors such as diabetes, obesity, injury, arthritis, and aging can make the condition worse. People who spend long hours on their feet can also experience pain and fatigue. If you or someone you know has flat feet, don’t miss out these simple yoga exercises that can be of great help.
3 Yoga Poses for Flat Feet
1) Adho Mukha Svanasana
Also known as downward-facing dog or down dog, this pose works your hamstrings, calf muscles, and Achilles tendon. However, with a subtle modification, it can help relax your flat feet also. Start with your hands and feet flat on the floor, fingers spread wide, and your hips pushing towards the ceiling, so your body makes an inverted V shape. Slightly bend your right knee to make room for the rise, and push the left heel into the ground. Raise and hold your right heel for 3-5 seconds and relax. Repeat this 15-20 times with both legs to relax your feet after a long workday.
2) Runner’s Stretch
Get into a pose with the right leg stretched forward as far as you can, rest your hands on the ground on your sides and your left knee on the ground while shifting your hips back a little. Shift your upper body forward while your left toe should be tucked underneath your foot for stability. Flex your right toe up words, hold for 2-5 seconds and relax. Repeat 15-20 times before switching to the other leg.
3) Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose
This is a challenging but extremely rewarding yoga pose for your lower body. Stand straight, then raise your left knee towards your belly. Reach with your left arm to grab your left toe and slightly pull it towards you. Now extend your left leg forward in front of you, trying to straighten your knee as much as possible. If you feel comfortable and can stabilize your upper body, try to swing the raised leg towards your left as far as you can. Keep breathing throughout the exercise. Hold for about 30 seconds or as long as you can, and then repeat with the other leg.
In addition to yoga, you can try other exercises such as golf ball roll. Sit down on a chair, roll a golf ball back and forth under your arch for 2 minutes and then repeat with the other foot.
Try to invest in custom shoes for flat feet as well, or simply consider getting insoles which are inexpensive but can be a great aid as they add support and balance for your feet. Moreover, avoid activities that cause pain, for example, if running causes pain, switch to a brisk walk. Likewise, if your work involves standing, try to sit down as frequently as possible.