There are multiple intricate bones and joints in the foot
and just as many muscles to support them. These muscles are important in both
balance and ‘posture’ of the lower body. Just like poor posture in the back,
poor ‘posture’ in the foot can lead to pain and possible injury.
The kinetic chain starts at the foot and it follows that weakness and collapse at this structure has consequences higher up in the body. Pronation, or ‘rolling in’, of the foot results in inward collapse at the knee joints (valgus stress), twisting of the hip (internal rotation), and extension of the lumbar spine. All of this places unnecessary stress on the joints and ligaments at these areas.
Many common injuries such as medial knee pain, tight hip
flexors, and lower back stiffness are worsened, and sometimes even caused by,
collapse at the feet. They can all be alleviated by strengthening the muscles
that hold up the feet, thus correcting this ‘posture’. Supportive shoes and
orthotics are helpful in the short term, but do not address the underlying
issue of foot weakness. A dedicated foot strengthening program ensures that the
feet are able to support the body in all circumstances.
If you are experiencing pain or injury in the knee, hip or
lower back, it is important to ask your physiotherapist to assess how your feet
may be contributing to the problem. Your physiotherapist will perform a
functional assessment to determine whether there are any issues with the
movement in your feet, and what might be causing it. From here, they will
develop a specific rehabilitation program to fix the issue.
A simple exercise that you can start doing today is the
Sitting on a chair, place a towel on the floor
underneath your foot.
Using your foot, scrunch the towel to pull it
Continue for a set of one minute, and repeat
This exercise uses the small muscles inside the foot that
help to hold up the arch.
For foot assessment and rehabilitation, book with one of our physiotherapists today.