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Weekly Progress Update 8

Today is an exciting day for me and this project. For the first time since I started taking measurements one foot has crossed the mark set early as the criteria for a normal arch.  New arch index numbers and updated photos can be found on the progress page. The left foot had a plantar arch index of 0.96, below the 1.0 line that I set as an initial goal for restoring arches. Technically this would mean the left foot should no longer be considered flat.

On the right side, there were big changes as well. The right foot had an index of 1.04, which is where the left foot started out and by far the best measurement to date. Last week the right was at 1.12 so today’s measurements represents quite a change.

Last night I was really impressed with how well formed the arches looked. This morning when I went to take the photos they didn’t appear as prominent so I wasn’t expecting the measurements to be as good as they were. I wanted to take photos last night but to be consistent I held off until today. There may be some fluctuation in arch height during the day and strangely enough, it seems to be the best after activity. After one of my runs this week I noticed another sign of progress, that in standing my big toe and second toe were no longer touching. There was a visible space between them whereas normally they are pressed right against each other.

So what is responsible for such a big change this week? It’s difficult to say. This is around the time frame (2 months) that I thought it would take to see a noticeable difference. Primarily, I think this week’s results have been a culmination of all the previous exercises. A couple weeks ago I started to run in the “barefoot” zero-drop shoes and I know that is helping with foot strength and mobility. Like I mentioned in last week’s update I am making sure the left side gets as much attention as the right because I felt like the progress on the left had stalled.

I’ve also started doing a lot of work to increase ankle dorsiflexion range which I’m now seeing has a huge effect on pronation. There is still a lot of room for improvement there so I’m hoping the positive results will continue at this pace.

Here are pictures are the footprints comparing the differences from the first week to today:

Left Foot Print Changes

The left is starting to look like a normal footprint. The right is getting close but still looks weird. The left foot started out with more of a curved shape on the inside of the foot, almost resembling an arch. The right had no arch at all, and instead actually had the opposite of an arch because that middle part of the foot appeared to protrude out farther than the rest of the sole. On the new footprint of the right, the part of the arch closest to the heel appears to be increasing but the top part still remains flat and that’s what it looks like in the photos too. The reason for this, I think, is because the muscles on the inside of the right foot were so weak and atrophied before that they lacked any sort of tone and were just sort of mushy (for lack of a better word).

Overall I’m incredibly pleased with the improvements so far. I plan on continuing my flat feet correction program for at least another 8 weeks to see what will be the best outcome I can achieve.

Continue to Week 9…

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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5 thoughts on “Weekly Progress Update 8”

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for posting this information. I too have flat feet. I also want to try the exercises you did. Could you share those for the website for the benefit of all.

    Are you planning to write a book or something?

    • Hi Swati–I’m slowly working on adding more content to the site. In the near future I’ll be able to post videos and descriptions of the exercises. Right now I’m getting all that information organized. There were a lot of exercises I tried in the process of figuring out which exercises would be effective. What I’ll likely end up doing is posting all that info here and then later putting everything together into a more structured program that people could follow along with.

      • Hi James. First, I would like to thank you so much for your work! I’ve only but memorized this site. Like you I also have a background in PT. I was an Army Medic who assisted our PT’s in the rehab of injured troops. I WAS also, at one point and avid runner. Until my injusy that is. I have a fallen arch in my right foot. The worst part of all is that I caused it myself. I was pushing too fast and too hard into plantar dorsiflexion stretching after noticing the limited ROM in my right as opposed to my left. The bottom of my foot hurt very badly the next day. I felt more of my foot touching the ground so I did a print test to check. Sure enough, I was flat footed in my right foot. Needless to say I don’t stretch anymore, nor hardly believe in most types of stretching. Have you noticed any percieved set-backs in arch height when performing dorsi-flexion stretching (or pain)? You mentioned something that made me think you had. Also, has your right arch developed like the left yet? Please reply with an exercise list soon as I am anxious to implement any better ideas into my routine. Thank you again for all your work thusfar. It has been very encouraging!

  2. Thanks for the info , i just notice few days back that my daughter is having flat foot , she is only 3 years now .
    Not sure how im going to teach her doing the excersive but i will try.

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