Splayfoot involves a foot pronation disorder whereby your feet point outward, like a duck's, instead of straight ahead, according to Gary Moller, DipPhEd. Advanced stages may require corrective orthopedic surgery that realigns your big toe. Exercises for splayfoot concentrate on strengthening your calf muscles and restoring strength -- plus flexibility in your toes, ankles and foot to make performing everyday activities such as walking more comfortable and pain-free. Check with your doctor first.
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Strong calf muscles help support your feet while lowering your risks of muscle fatigue, weakness and cramping, says Moller. Strengthen your calf muscles, known as the tibialis posterior, by including some seated heel raises in your exercises for a splayfoot regime. Sit upright in a firm chair, placing both feet firmly on the floor, according to the physical rehabilitation site of Hep2go.com. Slowly lift your right heel as high as possible without removing any toes from the surface. Hold position 10 seconds. Slowly return to original position. Relax 10 seconds. Repeat exercise 10 times. Do exercise again using left foot.
Counteracting your foot pronation tendencies by strengthening and stretching your arches plays a key role in helping reduce your splayfoot tendencies, notes Moller. Work on strengthening your arches and foot muscles by doing some seated side lifts. Stand upright with both feet firmly planted on the floor. Hold onto a chair for support. Slowly lift your body weight onto the outside of your foot as you lift your arches from the surface. Hold position 10 seconds. Slowly return to original position. Relax 10 seconds. Repeat exercise 10 times. If lifting both arches simultaneously is too difficult, concentrate on lifting only one at a time.
Exercises for splayfoot need to work on improving mobility as soon as possible after any surgical procedure, according to the Pfaeffikon Centre for Orthopaedic Surgery. Start by doing some ankle pumps while still in bed. Ankle pumps involve sitting upright in bed, on the sofa or in a firm chair while extending both legs in front of you until your knees are as straight as possible. Gently lift your surgical foot and point your big toe away from you while bending your ankle. Hold position five seconds. Slowly return to original position. Relax 10 seconds. Slowly bend your ankle while pointing your big toe toward your body. Hold position five seconds. Return to original position. Relax 10 seconds. Repeat exercise 10 times.
Walking helps with strengthening and stretching your foot muscles and needs to be included in your exercises for a splayfoot regime. Start walking as soon as possible after splayfoot surgery. When first walking, use a walker and put minimal weight on your surgical foot. Walk for two minutes at a comfortable pace. As you become stronger, gradually add more body weight onto your foot and increase your time in three minute increments. Slowly decrease dependence upon your walking aid as you become more comfortable and secure in your walking abilities. Shoot for a goal of walking independently, without using your walking aid, five weeks after surgery.