The Effect of Lower Limb Muscle Strengthening and Stretching Exercises on Flatfoot Condition, Balance and Quality of Life in Women
Background. Studies show that stretching of shortened structures and strengthening of weakened muscles can reduce flat foot. However, it is not clear how lower extremity stretching and strengthening exercises affect balance and quality of life in women who have a flatfoot.
Aim – to determine the effect of lower limb strengthening and stretching exercises on the balance, foot arch and quality of life in women who have a flatfoot.
Methods. Sixteen women (28.19 ± 7.77 years) with flatfoot participated in this study. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: lower limb muscle strengthening or stretching exercises. The exercises were performed remotely for a total of four weeks, five times a week, for the duration of 30 minutes per session. Static and dynamic balance, medial longitudinal arch of the foot, and quality of life were assessed before and after the interventions.
Results. Static and dynamic balance, foot arch, and quality of life indicators improved in both exercise groups (p <0.05). No significant difference was found for any of the indicators when comparing the indicators between the two groups.
Conclusion. Lower limb muscle strengthening or stretching exercises can be used as an effective conservative treatment to reduce signs of flatfoot and improve balance and quality of life in women.
Keywords: flatfoot, exercise, balance, foot arch, quality of life.
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