Pes Planus, or “flat feet”, refers to the loss of the arch in your foot, which causes your entire foot to make contact with the ground when standing on it.
Like Fred & Barney probably know ↑, having flat feet not only causes significant pain in the bottom of the foot and inner leg, but also, can result in an unstable ankle, throwing you off balance and putting you at a higher risk of spraining or injuring the ankle.
How Can I Identify If I Have Flat Feet?
Best way to tell if your feet are flat, is to stand in front of a mirror and examine your foot/ankle alignment. Ideally, when looking at a properly aligned foot (as seen in the picture below on the left), you will find that your ankle joint is mostly on top of your heel bone and there is a small space between the inner/mid-portion of your foot and the ground.
If you find that there is a lack of space between your foot and the ground, and your ankle appears to fall inwards (as seen in the picture above on the right), then it is likely you have a flatten foot, also known as “excessive pronation”!
Why Is My Foot Flat?!
There are several reasons why your foot may be flat. One common cause of a flat foot is weakness of the muscle, which is responsible for maintaining your arch, called the Tibialis Posterior. This muscle and its tendon are pictured below , highlighted in red. The tibialis posterior is responsible for “inverting” the foot, which means to bring the foot in towards your other foot!
What Can I Do About It?!
One way to address your flat foot directly, is to do exercises that strengthen your tibialis posterior muscle. There are a variety of ways to accomplish this. Just like we use weights or resistance bands to strengthen our arms, we can utilize the same principles to address the small muscles that make up our foot.
Practice inverting your foot against resistance
Crunch a towel with your toes to practice creating an arch
When creating an arch (space under your mid foot and the ground), it is easiest to first practice doing so in a seated position as you don’t have to fight against the entire weight of your body. Once you master making an arch in sitting, then try standing on two legs and then even one leg!
Identifying and addressing your flat feet is not an easy task and usually requires the examination from a professional. If this is something concerning you, come into our Glendale, Kew Gardens, or Manhasset office today to learn more about how Physical Therapists can help!
Yabba Dabba DOO Your Exercises!!!