Happy, Healthy, Natural Feet
By: Katy Lucas RMT
Did you know the human foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, 26 muscles and over 8,000 nerves!
There are three arches in the foot – Medial longitudinal arch, lateral longitudinal arch and the anterior transverse arch.
The arches work to:
- Absorb shock when landing
- Assist in the distribution of weight along the sole of the foot while the body is in locomotion.
- Allow pliability of foot to accommodate uneven terrain
- And lastly, they also act as a spring to propel the body forward with walking, running or jumping.
The human foot is an architectural work of art, a masterpiece on its own – Covering up the feet with shoes turns off the biofeedback to the brain so kick off your shoes and let your feet do their thing. Even if it’s just for a minute!
Can you move your toes like this?
As the weather warms up and we transition to more “minimalist” footwear i.e. flip flop, it’s essential to get those feet mobilized and ready for the increased workload.
Stand on a hard surface, feet hip width apart. Gently rock side to side, and fron to back until your weight is evenly distributed. Keeping the rest of your foot firmly planted, try to:
- Lift all of your toes.
- Just the big toes or the “Great Toe” us anatomy geeks like to call it
- Then, keep the Great Toes planted and lift all the other toes.
Give it a go and see how your foot control measures up!!
Bunions or Hallux Valgus
“I got bunions from my mother” is a common thing to hear in the clinic.
Well that’s not entirely true. Your mother gave you a genetic predisposition to bunions but the shoes you wear and what you choose to do with your feet play a huge role in your foot health.
What causes bunions?
Tight fitting shoes! Yes! the fashionable ones, the sexy high heels and the classy dress shoes. Feet are naturally widest at the toes and s those great looking, trendy tight fitting shoes can actually deform your feet.
Take a look at the picture above.
Ways to prevent a bunion…
- Find a shoe with a wider toe box.
- Mobilize the big toe joint by using your hands to flex, extend and move the big toe around.
- Work on abducting your toes which in layman’s terms means spread your toes!
Last but not least, get some toe spreaders. Toe Spreaders spread your toes and help the joints find their natural alignment. They put the joints and muscles of your feet into a more optimal position which gives them space to move freely. YAY!
We carry the “Correct Toes” brand of toe spreaders hear at Fit. You can use them every night, after a day’s work or even wear them inside your shoes while working, running or playing sports.
If you are getting foot pain or developing a bunion, come in and get assessed by one of our professionals and ask them about foot health.
Katy Lucas is a Registered Massage Therapist and is studying Foot Health with The Foot Collective. If you are currently experiencing foot, knee or hip pain come in and have a full assessment and treatment and she will help you get on your toes…literally!