What can looking at your feet tell you?
There are some general traits with foot types that in my practice I have seen make the client more predisposed to certain injuries and problems. And preventing pain or injury is something I think everyone should have the ability to pre-determine. So… What are the three signs you should look out for?
A bunion. This the easiest thing to see for yourself. A bunion is when in most circumstances your big toe points in towards your second toe and the bone on the side of your big toe protrudes out. Regardless of whether it’s hereditary, biomechanical or footwear related. Bunions are a functional deformity that generally only gets worse and affects propulsion through walking and running. By not using your big toe when you run you will tend to compress through your joints in the forefoot and furthermore not activate muscles in your leg and backside efficiently. Especially the muscles used when you’re in the last 15% of your walking gait or running cycle. The three I see most commonly impacted are the medial gastrocnemius (calf), VMO (inside muscle of the knee) and gluteus maximus. Getting an assessment on your bunion is important, because simply letting it get worse can lead to significant pain and weakening of these muscles.
Your feet point out or in when you walk. Dancer’s feet or being pigeon toed are common issues developed at a young age where your bodies mass does not evenly go through your feet. To put into context. Imagine trying to crawl fast. Now point your hands out or in and see how hard it is. Think about how slow you automatically become , a s well as how much stress now goes through your wrist, elbow and shoulder. Repeat it daily and watch how eventually you predispose yourself to injuries anytime you try and accelerate beyond your body’s capacity . Now by no means if you have done this for ages should you just try and just straighten your foot. Your body won’t tolerate it initially . Rather you need to be smart and start of by implement ing cues or drills to provide mild corrective changes over time . This will assist you in preventing injuries and correcting your movement which is vital at any stage on life.
Do you have a flat arch or a very high arch? This is probably the most common one you’d expect to see in this blog. And most people tend to be aware of this. However what most people don’t know are the implications of having what I like to call a pancake foot or a harbour bridge foot, until they are in some degree of pain or discomfort. Ironically the majority of time the issues that present from th ese foot types are not located in the feet .
Generally it’s in the knees, shins and lower back that cop all the joint pressures because they are having to compensate for a poor foundation . So having a foot and gait check is always good idea no matter what your level of activity . This is not the thing at the shoe stores where they get you to stand on the machine and it tells you if you’re flat or high arched. Rather a gait check is a movement screening done by a professional that understands walking, running, footwear and most importantly how to help you conservatively and non-conservatively look after your feet and the rest of your body.