Good vs Bad Foot Movements – Why Not All Foot Motions Are Equal
Our feet are complex structures composed of many parts (bone, muscles, ligaments, etc) that work together to support our bodies and facilitate movement. Every day, our feet go through different motions to get us where we want to be. Not all foot motions are equal because some movements can be harmful while others are needed for normal functioning.
Today, let’s talk about some common foot movements and discuss whether they are beneficial or detrimental to the overall health of our feet:
Common Foot Movements
Dorsiflexion is a motion of the foot that involves the lifting of the foot upwards towards the front of the shin. The joint is mostly responsible for this motion is the talocrural joint. Dorsiflexion is a natural movement of the foot that is usually not harmful.
Plantarflexion can be thought of as opposite to dorsiflexion. It is when the foot moves downwards away from the shin in a vertical motion. Both dorsiflexion and plantarflexion are needed for activities such as walking, running, jumping, and standing on tiptoes.
Pronation is a natural foot movement that occurs when walking or running. It is when the foot rolls inwards and flattens out. Under normal conditions, the arch will lower slightly and help to absorb shock. Without pronation, the foot would not act as an efficient propeller of motion.
Excessive pronation, also known as overpronation, is harmful to foot health, leading to conditions such as flat feet, shin splints, and knee pain. When feet overpronate, the arches of the feet collapse and the entire sole comes into contact with the ground. As a result, the joints of the feet are stretched out and a lot of pressure is placed on the surrounding tendons and ligaments. Individuals with weak arches, tight calf muscles, or structural abnormalities often possess overpronated feet.
How can we treat foot pain due to bad foot movements?
Foot pain due to bad foot movements (such as overpronation) can be challenging to deal with as it can significantly impact one’s quality of life. If you suffer from chronic foot pain, we highly recommend seeking professional advice from a podiatrist who can diagnose the underlying cause of the pain and recommend appropriate treatment options. After a thorough assessment, they may suggest one of the following:
- Orthotics—Custom-made orthotics can be employed to correct misalignments of the foot. These medical devices are prescribed and worn on the inside of shoes.
- Footwear –Wearing shoes with the proper amount of arch support and cushioning can make a big impact when it comes to foot pain. We generally recommend opting for shoes that have a firm but shock-absorbing midsole and a heel counter that provides added protection and stability.
- Stretching exercises—Exercises that target the muscles in the feet and legs can help to improve flexibility and function. Some examples include calf stretches and ankle circles.
All in all, it is worth taking care of our feet because they are essential players in our mobility and overall health. Taking the steps to maintain our foot health enables us to live more comfortable, enriching, and active lives.
If you have any questions about foot movements, corrective footwear, or overall foot health, please comment below. Our team is also ready to help at docpods.com/au!