How Corrective Exercise Can Alleviate Foot and Ankle Pain

In my previous post we discussed the 6 Benefits of Training with Bare Feet.   If you've had a history of issues like 

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Chronic ankle sprain/strain
  • Arch issues (flat feet, high arches)
  • Hammer toes and/or bunions
  • Foot pain

I have good news for you!  You don't have to suffer! A properly designed corrective exercise program can help you identify muscle and joint imbalances and then give you a proactive pathway to correct chronic and re-occurring problems in the feet and ankles.  

At PainFree Posture MN we take a unique approach to your pain.  We treat YOU as a whole person, which means that we treat the body as a unit versus simply addressing symptoms.  Corrective exercise programming can help you restore your foot and ankle function (and the rest of your postural imbalances) back toward functional design.


 BUT, it requires YOU to actively participate in the process.

That means you must STOP and take a look at the BIG picture.  

If you have foot and/or ankle pain, I can guarantee you the problem isn't just where your pain is.  When the foot and ankle muscle balance and joint mechanics are off, there is bound to be other problems throughout the entire kinetic chain.


Take a look at these 5 Facts About Your Feet (* source Centerworks: Tips for fantastic feet)

  1. The strength and flexibility of our feet, ankles, arches, and toes helps maintain balance and body control when walking on uneven terrain?
  2. You have 26 bones in the foot AND more than 24 different muscles in the lower leg and foot.  All play an important role in the strength and support of the ankles, arches, and toes.
  3. Walking & running isn't enough for well-balanced muscle development for the whole foot
  4. Foot/ankle pain or injury can change your gait pattern and over time may affect or create joint pain in your knees, hips, or back
  5. Corrective exercise programming like Posture Alignment Therapy and Pilates are both excellent at helping retrain body mechanics, improve posture, and balance muscle development to avoid the chain of pain.


Our primary objective in all of our therapeutic modalities here at PainFree Posture MN is to identify and address structural dysfunction, and help YOU restore the body back to it's proper function.


In my experience as a Corrective Exercise Specialist, I believe that anatomically, the body is democratic.  In general, we all have the basic design of bones, muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, blood and lymphatic supply and fascia.  The body should be both balanced and fully functional in all three planes of movement (front-to-back, top-to-bottom, and side-to-side).   Based on the concept of symmetry, it is easy to assume that the two halves of the body form a whole, and the body though in theory function as an integrated unit.  

What does this mean?  Let's take the knee for example.  The knee has to respond to what the hip and foot/ankle complex do (or not do).  So the foot, knee and hip are an integrated unit.  This unit is a sum of all the parts that act on and affect the whole.  So, if there is any imbalance in just one of the three planes of motion, a cascade of change occurs and affects the entire unit, not just the part in isolation.  Not only does this imbalance affect the until in terms of motions, it also affects the body's ability to heal and repair itself, and without addressing the imbalances, will affect the rest of the kinetic chain.  

So something as simple as having a turned out foot that pronates and over plantar flexes, left unattended to can result in a myriad of pain problems that can be isolated at the area (plantar fascia, flattened arch, achilles tendonitis, etc) or travels up through the kinetic chain and is clearly linked to knee pain, hip pain, low back pain, or problems in the shoulders, neck and even your head.

Think of it like this.  The site of the pain is rarely the source of the pain problem.

 

Still have questions?  Not a problem at all.  We want to hear from YOU!  Please reach out and connect with us.  We're in this together, and I am here to help!