Stretch Your Feet (Part -1)

Stretch Your Feet (Part -1)

Stretch Your Feet (Part -1)

Foot architecture

“If our bare feet were once muscular, finely-tuned thoroughbreds, encased in shoes they are now sleepy, flabby cows.”  - "Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton"

The evolution of the foot, or maybe it is the evolution of the shoe that is holding us back. I read a study that said children who go without shoes until around the age of 5 have the happiest feet.  I am seeing more and more of people presenting with weak, tired, sad, pronated, hyperflexion feet. All being told they have flat feet or collapsed arches and are being put into orthotics.  NOOOOOOOOO!  They have feet that need to be strengthened! Lengthened and allowed to move!

One of my favorite success stories is of a young man, who after several years he is ready to do something about his feet. This young man had been to a countless podiatrist and even had surgery on his feet Then after over 2 months what a change! He was diligent and did his exercises 2X a day. His metatarsals were overly plantarflexed and it was important to find ways to get these muscles to lengthen and release to restructure this young man's feet. Not to mention how much better he must have felt both physically and emotionally. We have a lot more power to self-heal than many of us give the body credit for.  Muscular holding patterns if not recognized and released can have irreparable damage to our bones structure.

Wolff’s Law

“In the 19th century, surgeon Julius Wolff proposed that mechanical stress was responsible for determining the architecture of bone….” (Forwood & Turner, 1995, p. 197).

“Remodeling of bone … occurs in response to physical stresses – or to the lack of them – in that bone is deposited in sites subjected to stress and is resorbed from sites where there is little stress” (Salter, 1970, p.7).

Bunions are another area that if we are mindful at an early age, we can ward off any long term effect. Bunions There is a strong pull of the flexor hallucis longus along the medial arch and across the ball of the big toe joint as we take a step forward pushing off of the big toe. To keep this tendon from harm from the weight of the body, it is encased by two little sesamoids boned on either side of the tendon.  This tendon sits right under the ball of the big toe, so with every step, there would be a lot of stress and strain from the forward movement and the weight of the body.  These little bones now take the weight off of the tendon.  There are several contributing factors to the formation of a bunion, heredity, accidents but more often than not, shoe!  Shoes that push the big toe toward the midline.  This pull from the tendon is then shifted away from the center toward the midline of the toe.   The constant pull on the tendon continues to pull the tip of the big medially and can even cause the toe to get stuck up under the other toes, all the while pushing the ball of the big toe further away.  This tension on the bone creates a callous buildup as well as changes the shape of the bone.  If caught early we can change the direction of the pull and find balance.

Imagine the effect of this change on the rest of the body.  We are just scratching the surface of the feet much less the rest of the body which as I see it has an amazing ability to self-heal, all it takes is a little time and awareness.

How are your holding patterns in your feet holding you back?


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