Posted on 09-08-2011
As we stand, we are in what is called "closed chain biomechanics". Our foot posture serves as the foundation to the rest of the body's alignment which means that if there is any weakness or limited mobility in our feet - the rest our body will suffer.
Below are 4 great tips for ensuring your feet have the proper strength and adequate mobility to keep you pain-free and functioning at your best!
1. Increase ankle mobility:
As we stand day after day, the postural muscles of the foot and ankle (namely the lower leg muscles) are contracting to hold us upright. Interestingly, eccentrically- contracting muscles create adhesions and trigger points which can restrict muscle flexibility. One of the best ways to address myofascial adhesions is with through self-myofascial release. I can show you this in the office.
2. Increase plantar (bottom of foot) extensibility:
Did you know the bottom of the foot contains 19 muscles? From stabilization to absorbing ground reaction forces, these small muscles of the foot play a vital role in optimal foot function. I advise patients to stand on golf balls everyday. Begin with one foot at a time and progress to both feet for a total of 20 minutes.
3. Improve intrinsic foot strength:
After improving foot flexibility, focusing on foot strength will ensure a strong foundation. One of the most effective techniques for improving toe grip and arch support is barefoot balance training. Studies have shown that 6 weeks of barefoot training has been associated with increased arch height. Try to integrate at least 15 minutes of barefoot balance work 2-3 times a week.
4. Strengthen your hips.
Interestingly, hip strength is correlated with foot posture. The posterior gluteus medius, in particular, plays and important role in controlling the inward rotation of the leg and flattening of the foot. Like Tip #3, balance training has been shown to have some of the highest gluteus medius activation. I always recommend doing balance work barefoot as the foot plays such an important role in balance and proprioception.
For many the above techniques will prove beneficial. In fact everyone should do them. However once damage has been done over years and your arches in the feet have already fallen or even painful....rigid custom orthotics is a must to give you an aid as you return your feet back to health.
At WellnessOne we offer custom feet analysis with the BEST orthotics on the market through the prestigious Footmaxx Custom Orthotic Company.
They are top notch when it comes to research for the foot and helping patient's return to proper foot health. Give WellnessOne of Redding a call today to set up a digitized dynamic foot scan to evaluate YOUR foot health. Our phone number is 243-9464.
Have a blessed day!
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