22 Mar Does the thought of a long barefoot walk on the beach make you cringe in pain?
Do you experience foot or heel pain, knee pain or lower back pain or have you every had heel spurs or shin splints?
If the answer to one or more of these questions is YES, then let us ask you this: have you ever had your foot alignment assessed? By somebody other than a specialist sports shoe retailer that is (not that there is anything wrong with this, we might just do it a little differently).
The vast majority of patients who present with any of the above problems will be experiencing them because of weakness or imbalance in the muscles of the lower limb and this includes the foot, rather than a structural or bony problem. (This is good news!)
The evolution of humans from 4 legged creatures to 2 legged ones has brought with it some unique challenges. Unlike our primate ancestors, we live with all the force of our body weight on 2 points of ground support instead of 4. We also have a lot more body height (and weight) to balance on that narrow base of support. Imagine the feats of strength, endurance and control required of the muscles of the foot and ankle to sustain that small base of support!
There are foot muscles??? Yes! Lots of them. Some come from above the ankle, like the calf muscle. But some are deep in the foot and that means they are really useful for controlling foot alignment. They’re almost the equivalent of our hand muscles that grip and allow dexterity!
But we don’t exactly grip with out feet the way we do with our hands. Nor do we carry our body weight on our hands all day. So although we’re given essentially the same sets of muscles in both extremities, they’ll end up serving somewhat different purposes. For example, the muscles that allow us to shape our hands around an object and grip it, will help our feet maintain a healthy joint alignment in weight bearing to support our body from the ground up, as well as playing a shock absorption role when we walk, run, jump and hop.
The good news is, at Aushealth Physiotherapy we have all the tools you need to assess and correct any foot alignment problems, and to manage or even fix those painful conditions that come along with them. With our digital Gait Scanner, we are able to perform a comprehensive foot examination and use the data to order custom made orthotics, tailored to your feet and the demands placed on them every day. But it doesn’t stop there. We know that to truly resolve those painful issues, your foot muscles need to be working at their best, so we will show you the exercises you need to do, to make that happen. And of course we always make sure those foot and ankle joints are moving as much as they ought to be, so you can expect important hands on treatment as well.
So if putting your foot on the ground has become a pain or your feet just aren’t performing at their best, give us a call on 9905 0048 and let us help you take a painfree step in the right direction!