Should you use the short foot exercise?
There are lots of exercises which might be used as part of the rehabilitation of foot disorders. The purpose of these exercises are generally to strengthen and stretch muscles as well as mobilise the joints. They are among the many tools that foot specialists use to manage a wide range of foot conditions. One exercise that has been receiving a lot of recent interest is one called the short foot exercise. This exercise is done standing and the muscles in the arch of the foot are contracted to shorten the foot. This is alleged to strengthen the arch of the foot. If you consider some of the unsupported claims online concerning this exercise, it will cure almost anything that can go wrong with the foot, which is clearly not the case.
Perhaps the biggest issue with this exercise is the blind faith and opinion that so many believe that it might cure so many of the problems that could go wrong with the foot, when there’s actually virtually no scientific evidence that it is useful for anything. Simply proclaiming that something is effective and hoping that is it does not ensure it is so. That’s the logical fallacy of wishful thinking. For the short foot exercise to be effective it will take time to develop the strength. Plenty of foot problems get better after a while, so there isn’t any way of figuring out if people improved purely because of this natural history or because the short foot exercise does actually help. That doesn’t suggest that there is something wrong with the exercise and that it must not be used. It could be that the exercise is a very useful and good one. It simply implies that the clinical studies have not been done and a lot of belief ought not to be put in any therapy which does not have clinical research to underpin its use. By all means keep using the short foot exercise, however use it in the understanding of these problems that are well known about this.