Your feet are responsible for much of your mobility, so when they become painful, which can happen with flat feet, your quality of life can begin to suffer.

Flat feet, or fallen arches, is a condition where the arch of the foot has collapsed. Injuries, prolonged stress to the foot and aging are usually the cause of fallen arches in adults. In some severe cases it may require surgery, however  most often you can help to alleviate much of the discomfort by strengthening your feet with specific exercises.

Initial diagnosis:

Consult with your doctor or physiotherapist before treating your fallen arches on your own to make sure you are not suffering from a more serious condition. You can try these strengthening exercises for your feet once your physician gives you the okay to do so.

Wear more supportive shoes: Regardless of the type of flat feet you have, wearing shoes with good arch support is going to provide at least some benefit, and it might possibly provide total relief of your foot, leg or back symptoms. Try to find a comfortable walking or athletic shoe with substantial arch support, roomy toe box, firm heel counter and a flexible sole. Supporting your arches helps decrease tension in the posterior tibial and Achilles tendons.

Warm up:

Warm up your body by performing 10 minutes of a low-impact cardiovascular exercise. Cycling rowing and walking are all examples of low-impact exercises.

Balance and reach:

Perform the balance and reach exercise which uses your arch for stability.Stand barefoot with the right side of your body next to the back of the chair.Place your right hand on the chair for support as you lift your right foot off the floor and balance on your left leg. Slightly bend your left knee. Engage the arch of your foot; make sure the big toe stays on the floor. Bend forward at your waist and reach forward with your left hand as far in front of you as you are able while still Perform the balance and reach exercise, which uses your arch for stability. Stand barefoot with the right side of your body next to the back of a chair. Place your maintaining your balance and keeping the knee slightly bent. Return to the starting position. Complete two sets of 10 repetitions on each foot.

Towel inchworm:

Sit tall on the edge of a chair for the towel pickup exercise. Remove your socks and shoes and place your feet flat on the floor. Position a hand towel on the floor in front of your feet. Start with the right foot; pick up the towel with your toes. Hold the contraction for one count and then release the towel back to the floor. Complete 10 to 20 repetitions and repeat on the left foot. Increase the challenge by placing a small book or some other item on the towel that will provide resistance and make it more difficult to lift the towel off the floor.

Marble pickup:

Sit tall at the edge of your chair for this exercise.One by one grab a marble with your toes and place it into a jar or bowl. Repeat this 10-20 times with each foot.