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Hypermobile Flat Feet: A Hypermobility exercise

A hypermobility exercise for feet using a band
Adam Foster
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Those with hypermobility may have what is coined “flat feet” (which can also be referred to as “collapsed arches” or “fallen arches). This is where the muscles of the foot aren’t able to fully support our structures above.

There seems to be much demand for a simple and effective hypermobility foot arch exercise. So, below you can find one of our favourite hypermobility foot arch exercises, which is aimed at helping to restore collapsed arches in those with hypermobility and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

Often those with hypermobility will find that the arches of their feet collapse, putting extra forces through an already unstable and painful full joint. Whilst the use of orthotics can help to restore proper foot alignment, they do not provide the required stress consistency to force adaptation, and restore the fallen arch in those with hypermobility. Those with hypermobile feet may find that whilst orthotics offer some temporary support, they can in fact grow weaker in the long term, as their tissues relax into the orthotics.

What’s needed to fix fallen hypermobile arches?

In order to restore fallen arches, a few key points need to be met:

  1. The brain needs to know where tissue is in space and time.
  2. Sufficient tactile cue need to be used in order to properly force the tissue to engage.
  3. Stress needs to be applied, consistently, to force mechanical adaptation.

In the video below you with notice that we perform our hypermobility foot arch exercise with the use of a tactile cue (the red band).
This is an important step for this exercise, as it provides rich sensory information to your cortical maps, giving your brain an immediate update to the position of your lower limb.

The tactile cue also provides a force to pull your lower leg into flexion, this is important as with this added force, you will find you will be able to contract the tissues of your foot, ankle, and knees, far more easily.

How to do the hypermobility foot arch exercise

A large problem with hypermobility exercises, in general, is that individuals tend to have trouble contracting the right tissues or even feeling the muscle they are exercising, in the first place. This is why a tactile cue, used with a closed chain exercise, is one of the top ways to help restore fallen arches.

For this type of exercise, it is far better to use time, rather than sets and repetitions. You can start off performing this exercise for up to 2 minutes twice per day, and spend the next 3 weeks trying to get up to a total of 4 minutes.

Is restoring fallen arches good for rehab?

Absolutely, as feet that don’t support the structures above, can prove to be a large barrier when it comes to hypermobility rehab.

To show you exactly what we mean, check out these videos of our client’s hypermobility rehab programmes.

Click here for more videos.