A Simple Test For Foot Health

You know that push-ups strengthen your core. But did you know that there’s a foot push-up that can test the health of your arches?

The arch of your foot is composed of the tarsal and metatarsal bones that run along the bottom of your feet from your toes to your heel. Tendons and ligaments strengthen these bones so that your foot can support your weight. Problems with your arches can cause stability issues, and make it difficult or painful to walk long distances.

By taking a few minutes to try this easy “foot push-up” test, you can learn all kinds of information about the health of your arches.

1. Take off shoes and socks. Stand facing a kitchen counter in bare feet.

2. Place your palms flat on the counter with light pressure.

3. With your back straight, lift one foot off the floor.

4. Slowly lift the heel of your other foot until all of you weight is on the ball of your foot.

5. Gradually lower your heel back to the floor.

6. Do ten of these push-ups on one foot, then on the other.

How did you do?

If a single push-up was more than you could manage, you may have a mechanical problem with your arch. Red flags include having to lean over the counter and put lots of pressure on your hands in order to rise up on the ball of your foot, or an experience of pain as you attempt the exercise. Your arch may be lowered as the result of a stretched or ruptured arch tendon. It’s time to consult a foot and ankle surgeon.

If you can easily rise up on the balls of your feet, but have trouble completing all ten push-ups, your arches may be fatigued. Strengthening and stretching your leg muscles can help, so can continuing to work on these push-ups to increase your repetitions.

If moving to the ball of your foot isn’t a problem, but causes pain in your arch, you may have an inflamed or overworked arch. Consult a foot and ankle surgeon for guidance to manage overworked arches and return them to a healthy pain-free state.

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  • Michael Castro, D.O.

    “I view the foot and ankle as a ‘perfect machine’ that is taken for granted…when it breaks down the effects can be profound. My focus and the focus of my team is to help get you back on your feet doing what you love.”

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  • Tracy Rupke, M.D.

    “I am dedicated to providing the best care possible for my patients. I love running and understand every patient’s desire to return to their own life and activities.”

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