Take this simple test to check how well your arches are performing their important functions.
- In bare feet, stand facing a kitchen counter.
- Place your palms on the counter with slight pressure.
- Stand with your back straight, and lift one foot off the floor.
- Slowly lift the heel of other foot, placing all of your weight onto the ball of your foot.
- Slowly lower your heel back to the floor.
- Do 10 foot push-ups.
Repeat steps 1–6 with the other foot.
And now the results...
Did you have problems doing just one push-up?
If you cannot rise up onto the ball of your foot without putting lots of pressure on your hands, leaning over the counter or experiencing pain, your arch may have a mechanical problem. The arch tendon can stretch or rupture, leading to lowering of the arch. A foot and ankle surgeon should be consulted as soon as possible.
Were you able to do all 10 without a problem?
If you can easily rise up onto the ball of your foot but have difficulty performing all 10 repetitions, you may be suffering from arch fatigue. Exercises focusing on strengthening and stretching leg muscles will help this problem. The foot push-up described above can also be used as an exercise technique.
Did you have pain in your arch during the exercise?
If you can easily rise up onto the ball of your foot but experience pain in your arch, your arch may be inflamed and may have been overworked. Consulting a foot and ankle surgeon for weak and overworked arches is recommended to manage the problem and keep your feet healthy and free of pain.