Foot Health Matters

One of the perks of working with movement and the human body is the unique perspectives we are exposed to about maintaining health and wellness of the body.

This is especially true working in a multi disciplinary practice with wide ranging backgrounds and skill sets.

If we can bring together ideas and distil them into the most valuable parts, we can save people decades of research and trial and error.

The aim is to take some topics that may at first seem foreign to people outside our industry and turn them into something people can understand and take away.

Just one or two new ideas or concepts can have a very positive effect on quality of life.

Why does Foot Health matter?

One the most surprising things you come across from day to day is people being indifferent about, or even baffled by, the idea of foot health.

Its intriguing to see people’s reaction to foot shaped shoes, or perhaps to somebody going barefoot during time outdoors.  It’s not normal, and let’s face it, toes are weird. 🤔

Just like our hands, our feet are capable of great dexterity and have enormous potential when it comes to adding to the overall capability of our bodies.

So why do people have this disconnect with their feet?

And how can we change this in order to help people optimise their movement, and decrease the likelihood of future injuries?

We hope that keeping you informed as to why the feet are arguably the most important part of our bodies for protection and performance will be a good start.

What do we mean by Foot Health?

Here are a few of the things our feet do for us all the time:

-An Interface with the ground now many steps per day

The feet each have 3 arches, sitting of 27 bones and 33 joints, giving them great shock absorbing potential.

-Catalyst for eccentric loading of muscles higher up the chain.

One of the most important concepts we hope to share is the importance of sharing motion between the joints of our bodies.  Changes in the space between bones in motion is a key factor in lengthening and ultimately strengthening muscles, as well as promoting sequences of joint motions.

-Sensory Information

-detoxification of the body

The forces acting on the body are supposed to give us strength, not threaten our structure. You could think of forces that act upon us as free currency to reinforcement your body.

Piezo electric charges reinforce bone, and loading of muscles during segmental motion will elicit a strengthening effect.

As in, if you don’t develop your body to contain and use the forces that act upon it, it’s like walking past piles of 20 dollar notes all day!

Improving the capabilities of our body is the only way of doing this.

This means learning to share the motion around the different segments of the body.

We can train, strengthen and educate our feet in just the same way as any other body part.

So How do we change the structure and capabilities of our feet?

The first step to this is to allow them to move.

One problem we face is that Modern footwear doesn’t much resemble the shape of a foot.  This is illustrated brilliantly by the condition of human feet in groups of people who have never been exposed to modern footwear.

This is something that often evokes an emotional response from passionate educators on the subject.

When you look at the result of this on the function of the feet you can understand why.

Try and imagine the foot being squeezed from all directions when it’s trying to spread and adapt to ground contact

If the feet can’t alter their shape or feel the ground when we put our body weight through them, a number of things can happen:

The bones of the feet can’t spread, making it more difficult to dissipate ground reaction force

muscles and soft tissues are not able lengthen and load

They are limited in their ability to feel the ground and detect sensory information

Decreased muscle loading further up the kinetic chain

If motion within the door is lost, overlapping patterns and corresponding movements in the ankle, hip, and spine may not be far behind

The joints in the feet can stiffen resulting in a lessened ability to share motion throughout the body.  Try turning a cars suspension into one solid piece and see what happens to the structure of the car!

This may look a lot like the first list..

In short, if the feet can’t adapt and move, they can’t do what they have evolved to do.

We hope today’s blog will help you see your feet in a new light.

If you are further down this road already, maybe we can add to your day today foot care with some practical Solutions on our YouTube channel.