Effects of Short-Foot Exercises on Foot Posture, Pain, Disability, and Plantar Pressure in Pes Planus

J Sport Rehabil. 2019 Oct 18;29(4):436-440. doi: 10.1123/jsr.2018-0363. Print 2020 May 1.


Context: Pes planus is a prevalent chronic condition that causes foot pain, disability, and impaired plantar load distribution. Short-foot exercises are often recommended to strengthen intrinsic foot muscles and to prevent excessive decrease of medial longitudinal arch height.

Objective: To investigate the effects of short-foot exercises on navicular drop, foot posture, pain, disability, and plantar pressures in pes planus.

Design: Quasi-experimental study.

Setting: Biomechanics laboratory.

Participants: A total of 41 participants with pes planus were assigned to the short-foot exercises group (n = 21) or the control group (n = 20).

Intervention: Both groups were informed about pes planus, usual foot care, and appropriate footwear. Short-foot exercises group performed the exercises daily for 6 weeks.

Main outcome measures: Navicular drop, Foot Posture Index, foot pain, disability, and plantar pressures were assessed at the baseline and at the end of 6 weeks.

Results: Navicular drop, Foot Posture Index, pain, and disability scores were significantly decreased; maximum plantar force of midfoot was significantly increased in short-foot exercises group over 6 weeks (P < .05). No significant differences were determined between the baseline and the sixth week outcomes in control group (P > .05).

Conclusions: Six-week short-foot exercises provided a reduction in navicular drop, foot pronation, foot pain, and disability and increment in plantar force of medial midfoot in pes planus.

Keywords: foot function; medial longitudinal arch; navicular drop; plantar force.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Flatfoot / physiopathology*
  • Flatfoot / therapy*
  • Foot / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Posture*
  • Pressure
  • Pronation
  • Young Adult