All About Feet
Plantar fascitis, Morton’s neuroma, foot cramps, bunions. The list of foot ailments is long and painful. No matter your age, gender or activity level, chances are at some point in your life you will have experienced some amount of foot pain.
Many foot ailments arise from the shoes we chose to wear. High heels create a constant contraction of the calf, and add force to the ball of the foot. Pointed shoes create severe compression in the ball of the foot as well as deformity in the toes. And then there are all the athletic shoes we endure: ski boots buckled down tightly for maximum force transfer to the ski, climbing shoes that “fit like a glove," biking shoes that attach to our pedals so that all the force of the body is exerted onto a quarter sized spot. All of these situations create a squeezing of bones towards one another, thereby compressing muscles and nerves and restricting blood supply to all areas of the foot.
Our feet support the weight of our entire body for hours on end, and they are so small! Each foot contains 26 bones and 31 joints. Compressed bones and joints create pain.
Creating space and proper alignment in our feet is paramount to foot health.
Let’s take some examples.
Plantar fascitis is a very common ailment that can create discomfort on the underside of the foot, especially near the heel. The fascia (a layer of fibrous connective tissue) on the plantar, or underside, of the foot is sometimes swollen and red. This fascia is often severely contracted, pulling the ball of the foot towards the heel of the foot, creating a painful cramping sensation on the sole.
Recommendation? Create space! How?
Try the following exercises: