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Studies on the effects of performing short foot exercises (SFEs) on the medial longitudinal arch (MLA) have been inconclusive. This study aimed to conduct a systematic review of the effects of SFEs. 'SFE' and 'intrinsic foot muscle' were keywords used to search for randomized controlled trials. One researcher screened relevant articles based on their titles and abstracts, and two independent researchers closely read the texts, accepting nine studies for inclusion. Outcomes, intervention duration, frequency, and the number of interventions were investigated. Of 299 potential studies identified, the titles and abstracts of 211 studies were reviewed, and 192 were excluded. The full texts of 21 studies were obtained and evaluated according to inclusion and exclusion criteria. Nine studies met the inclusion criteria. Six studies concerning the MLA were identified, with four reporting MLA improvement. There was no consensus concerning the number and frequency of SFEs performed, and the mechanism of MLA improvement was unclear. MLA improvement was observed in participants who undertook ⩾ 5 weeks of interventions. The results suggest that performing SFEs for ⩾ 5 weeks is effective in improving the MLA. Randomized controlled trials with details concerning the number and frequency of treatments are required.


Shigeyuki Hara, Masashi Kitano, Shintarou Kudo. The effects of short foot exercises to treat flat foot deformity: A systematic review. Journal of back and musculoskeletal rehabilitation. 2023;36(1):21-33

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PMID: 35871320

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