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Building upon last weeks post, the foot is very important in terms of movement and function of the body. If we lose functionality in the feet, we will develop compensation issues further up the chain. The feet are the body's foundation - if the foundation is broken, movement patterns and stability breakdown. Similar to a house, if there is a foundation problem, we will eventually see cracks in the walls.
There are a lot of fancy, complicated exercises and mobility techniques to help improve the feet. In reality, it takes just takes time, consistency and a commitment to improve your feet. Take your shoes (and socks) off as much as possible to get a feel for the ground, improve your proprioception and patterning. Make sure you point your feet (pretty) straight forward. This may feel strange if you have been moving with your feet point out. If this is hard, it may be a hip issue (which I will cover next week).
Something basic you can work on is called the foot tripod. It is a way of evenly distributing your weight in your feet. There are 3 points per foot. The first point is the center of the calcaneus or the heel. The second point is the head of the 5th metatarsal or the spot where the small toes attaches to the foot. The third point is the head of the 1st metatarsal or the spot where the big toe attaches to the foot. A balance between these three points gives the foot stability and it is thought that arches of each foot functions optimally when the tripod position is maintained. When the head of the first metatarsal is unstable, it is heard to maintain the tripod position and we tend to lose position and function of the arches in the feet. Other possible issues come from tight or weak foot, calf and hip muscles.
Learning the foot tripod can be difficult at first, especially if you have a flat foot or a loss of arch. Do this with shoes and socks OFF. Start by focusing on your heel and the 5th metatarsal points. Next lift your toes up and start to shift onto the big toe point - this makes it a bit easier to feel the big toe point.
Next week, we will cover the hip and its relationship with the foot.