T Nation

FALLEN ARCHES IN FEET

Alright, I finally went to see a doctor about some knee pain. It keeps cracking, and hurts when squating (but not too painful). I really notice it when riding a bike or the bike in the gym to warm up or cool down. Anyway the doctor determined that my arches in my feet had fallen and it’s causing muscle imbalances, and it happens to hurt in my left knee. Not too mention, my feet really hurt after walking for long distances. So I am getting inserts for my shoes to correct my arches, this is a great thing.

Anyway, he has me doing what he calls "strentgh training" excercises. He has me doing 3 sets of leg extentions and 3 sets of leg curls. But he has supersetting 4 different angles at 10 reps each. Really hard and intense. Now I never do these in the gym, I just squat and do more squats and do Ian King's Limping excersices. All non-traditional movements.

After that he has me walking up and down stairs with a weight vest and ankle weights. That is intense as well and very tiring.

Finally, they hook my knee or sometimes legs to Elecrto-Muscle Stimulation. Has anyone had this before? Does it really work? How about feedback on the excercises? I really want to correct this problem and would like to know if what I am doing, is really going to work.

Other info - doing therapy for 3weeks (don't notice any results) Male, 25yrs, 160lbs, 5ft 6in, 12% bodyfat (if anyone needs to know). Anyone with any feedback would be GREAT!

I had the same problem. I even got so bad I had to ice my foot 3x’s a day just to keep the swelling down…and that’s not the worst…the muscle imbalance is far worse…I have no foot pain any more but my hip and calf on the foot with the bad arch are much weaker, but catching up fast…Thank GOD. Here is what I did. I tried every orthodic out. Forget that. Get “SOLE COMFORT” insoles at sportmart. They have a nice solid arch but they aren’t a cast. Get into YOGA. Preferably Bikram’s Yoga. The reason for this is that the tissue in your feet are beat up. BAD. And all your joints pay for it when your feet are screwed up. Yoga will be like total body physical therapy, stretching out every little thing. You would be surprised how good the circulation in your feet is after some intense yoga. You also need to find yourself a “Rolfer” Rolfing is a kind of massage meets chiropractor kind of thing. They are hard to find but worth the search. A rolfer can help you find and strengthen your weaknesses that are causing the arch to drop. Also they will help get the inflamation out of the foot so it can heal. I was 25 when my arch dropped and I am 27 now. it took 2 years of trying a lot of things. Please take my advice. I went through hell.
YOGA>
GOOD ARCH SUPPORTS
ROLFING (or good massage therapist)
DO these 3 things religiously. I have tried all of the bullshit and it came down to these three things. I still do yoga once a week and get rolfed once a month or so just to make sure the son of a bitch never let’s me down again. Now that the pain is gone I have been training on the soft sand at the beach and my feet are feeling good. I don’t want to say they are better than ever but it sure seems to be going that way. It is a painful process brother, please do it. You will be so happy when you are finally able to stand in a bar for more than five minutes. DUDE I know it affects your attitude all day long. It fucking sucks. Yoga, Rolfing, Sole comfort insoles at sportmart and you will be good to go in a few months. Good luck bro I will be anxious to here from you. This issue is very close to me.

gman…I had a fallen arch too when I had knee trouble…but it seemed to be the result of me limping around for a few weeks and not the CAUSE of the knee problem. Whatever…the doctor taped it up for the first 2 weeks of my physical therapy and then it was OK. I did a lot of weighted straight leg raises, the electric stim while contracting the inner quad muscle above my knee, ultrasound, and 3 ART sessions. (After 2 weeks, I insisted on working out BOTH legs during therapy. I was in the PT office for twice as long, but so what.) It took about 6 weeks to heal and balance the muscles. Everything got better suddenly around week 5. I work out regularly and it really bothered me that that I ended up with a painful knee and muscle imbalance. I concentrated on lots of squats too. But NOW…I ALWAYS include weighted leg raises on leg day. I don’t want to go there again (PT). Good luck!

  1. Give the exercises a try. He seems to know what he is talking about. Most doctors would NOT give such precise movements as a recommendation. For that reason alone, I think it is worth trying them.

  2. I would be surprised if the Electro-stim provided any benefits. However, it probably would not hurt to try.

  3. Consider visiting a Chiropractor. Unfortunately, most Chiropractors are trained to work only on the spine. There are, however, some who DO know how to assess and correct misalignments of the extremities (arms and legs). I would suggest that you ask some athletes that you know for a referral. Or, you could call a few offices and simply ask if the DC knows how to “adjust” the knee joint. Many times - if the knee is out of alignment - there is dramatic improvement in 1-4 visits.

Hope that this helps.

Your pretty lucky actually, my company’s health insurance would have sent me to a doctor who would tell me I am getting older with a damned smug grin on his face. His therapy would be to relax more.

the idea that he would have someone with knee pain walk with ankle wts. scares me!

Thanks! for the replies. I wanted to let you guys know how my therapy went yesterday. He had me do 125 flights of stairs w/50lb vest and 10lb ankle weights. This was a 9am in the morning after I did the same thing the night before at 6pm. So, I only got about 15hrs of rest. However, for the first time they actually stretched me, as opposed to me stretching myself.

I just don’t like the fact that he is making me do all of this, saying I need to strengthen my leg muscle, WITHOUT ever asking or reviewing my workouts or even testing my strengthen.

The workout was very tough, but I am not too sure that it will help my knee. Any other feedback? THANKS!

G man. Going down stairs is NEVER good for your knees, and you are right, dude doesn’t care what your work out is like you are just another # to him. Your arch is your base and it would be in correct to suggest that all you need to do is strengthen one muscle, because you will just create another imbalance somewhere. This is why I preach YOGA so hard. It is the perfect supplement to your Bodybuilding routine. IN yoga you stretch and strengthen everything in an effort for TOTAL balance. I promise you that you won’t feel like you are leaving something out. Good luck -keep us up to date.

Thanks, D_END. There is a yoga class at my gym on Wednesday and I think I will attend it. I will defiantly keep you posted.

Another question, does anyone know if Elecrto-Muscle Stimulation works? Is it good to do after my physical therapy?
thanks again

gman…Electric-Stimulation is part of the overall equation. I honestly can’t say if the Elec-Stim was 40% of the remedy, or 2%. But, everything together worked. For me, they used it to isolate and ‘turn-on’ my VMO better, because that muscle was the weak one in my imbalance. In that respect, I think it was helpful because it got noticeably stronger in a short time. They did it for about 10 minutes 3X week. Sometimes, they did it with ice. I thought it was really hokey at first but if you keep it up, you’ll see what I’m talking about. It really wakes up the weaker, less responsive muscles so they start to react more evenly with the stronger ones.