Almost all of us have had a sprained ankle once in our lives. I am sure you remember how painful it was. Of course sprained ankles commonly occur because someone was performing an activity and they probably "turned their ankle" the wrong way. But did you realize that the 80% of people out there whose arches are already collapsing have a higher risk of getting sprained ankles?
Do you remember when you stood up and turned your feet inward? Do you remember the pressure you felt on your inner ankles? Well, that type of pressure to some degree occurs in people who excessively pronate every time they walk or run. So it makes it easier to sprain their ankle due to the forces placed on it when they play sports. Ankle sprains can be really painful and swell up.
Your FEET are your foundation for the entire upper body movement (kinetic) chain. A weak foundation makes the whole house/body stressed.
Pain Relief Starting at Your Feet
"Your feet are telling a story; are you listening?"
Have you taken a good look at your feet lately?
I mean it, slip your foot out of your shoe, take your socks and give your feet a good look.
What do you notice?
Are there any callouses, corns or bunions?
Do your feet look red or do your toes look cramped and pushed together?
When you compare your two feet together, do they look different from one another?
Your feet have a story to tell and it may be time you started to listen. Many of us go through life and we do not realize the impact that our two feet can have on our overall health. The joints and muscles of the body function most efficiently when they are in physical balance. Principles of engineering have shown that with any physical entity, whether it is a bridge, a building, or the human body- Structure dictates function.
The body is a biomechanical kinetic chain where abnormal movements at one line, or joint, can interfere with proper movements at other joints.
During standing and walking, our bodies are subjected to natural forces and postures that can inflict mechanical stress and strain throughout the interrelated chain of joints and muscles. When foot imbalance is present, there is a negative impact on the knees, hips, pelvis, and spine.
Do you know how many arches of the feet we humans have? Most people would say one. But did you know that we actually have three? The three arches are the inner arch, the outer arch and the arch under the forefoot (ball of the foot). These three arches form a supporting vault that distributes the weight of the entire body.
Your feet are the foundation of your body. They support you when you stand, walk, or run. And they help protect your spine, bones, and soft tissues from damaging stress as you move around. Your feet perform better when all their muscles, arches, and bones are in their ideal stable positions.
To give you an idea of the connection the feet have with your spine and the rest of your body, stand up with your legs comfortably apart and put your hands on your hips. Now roll your feet inwards as far as you can and hold that position for a few seconds. Do you feel the pressure on the inside of your ankles, your inner knees, your outer hips and perhaps even your lower back? Now roll your feet back to being level again. Do you notice how the pressure on those joints was reduced as you did this?
Rolling the feet inwards caused the arches of your feet to drop or collapse towards the ground. You were re-creating a scenario that occurs in over 87% of the world's population. This phenomenon is called excessive or over pronation. If you have ever heard a runner describe themselves as a "pronator", this is what they are referring to. So to say it plainly, over-pronation happens in 8 out of 10 people who are walking around our planet every day.
Now you must understand that some inward rolling of the feet is normal, but for many of us, the dropping of the arches is so serious that it causes pain and problems in the feet, ankles, knees and/or the lower back. Some of these joints may even be causing pain for you. I will describe a few common conditions and what you can do to help yourself. At the very least, it will give you new appreciation for your feet.
All of the conditions described below can come from a variety of sports and activities that require you to be on your feet. Even simple everyday activities like walking through the halls of your home or office can create foot problems. See if any of the following conditions apply to you.
The Achilles tendon is a term that describes a large tendon at back of the lower leg and heel that allows the calf muscles to connect to the heel. With excessive foot pronation combined with too much running, walking or weight bearing activities, the muscles can pull on the tendon with too much stress and it can cause pain along the tendon or at the heel where it attaches. Inflammation and swelling can also result.
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Callouses & Corns;are toughened areas of skin which have become thick and hard as a response to repeated contact or pressure. Corns are specially shaped callouses that can be soft or hard depending on the type of pressure and location on the foot. If you look at your own feet, the usual places you find callouses and corns are on the tops of your toes, the balls of the feet and the bottom surfaces of the foot and heels.
In the average person, as the 3 foot arches start to collapse over time and drop to the floor, the foot gets longer. This causes the toes to now touch or rub on the end of the shoe. The increased pressure on the tops or bottoms of the toes and feet can then cause the corns and callouses to form.
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