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Weekly Progress Update 3

New pictures are up on the progress photo page. The arch height seems to be increasing in both feet, but really noticeably on the right. The arch index for the right went down from 1.40 to 1.36 while the left stayed the same at 1.08. The goal for the arch index is to get both feet under the 1.0 mark.

The photos are taken from a normal standing position with equal weight on both feet. The arch index footprint that I use for the calculation is from stepping on to the paper with the foot being printed and then stepping off on to the opposite foot. Because of this, the arch index is going to measure what my arch does when all the weight is on one leg it will be a much better indicator of how much my foot pronates with walking. I mentioned in the last update that I would expect to see changes in the static photos sooner than changes in the arch index for this reason, and today’s update is a good illustration of that.

I’m very happy with the change in arch height on the right foot in the pictures but it was also good to see the arch index go down. I’m beginning to get a grasp of which exercises and activities work best.

For stretching, I’ve been focusing a lot on the calf muscles but making sure that while I’m stretching I’m also holding an arch in my foot to stretch the tight structures in the outside of the ankle.

calfstretchFor strengthening, I’ve been working a lot on single leg balancing activities, again focusing on maintaining an arch. I’ve found that the balance on my right leg is much worse than the left. Also, right now it’s impossible for me to hold an arch in my foot while doing single leg squats or deadlifts.

I was only able to go running on the beach one time this week (and I chose the day with the worst weather) but I feel like the barefoot running is going to help a lot. I’ve noticed a change in the way my right foot fits in my running shoes, almost like it’s pushing against the outside of the shoe now. Currently, when I run on the road I use Nike Free Trainers. These are slightly less flexible than the Nike Free running models but there really isn’t a huge difference between the two. I initially got these shoes to transition away from the stability┬áshoes I’ve worn in the past. While I’ve been happy with the Frees I’d like to find an even less supportive shoe to train in, although I’m not quite ready to take the plunge into Vibrams.

Continue to Week 4

About James Speck

James is a physical therapist with a special interest in the foot and ankle. He created this site to share his own journey toward better arches. Read more

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