Simplifying foot movement

Simplifying foot movement. A key part of our role as physiotherapists is to help all parts of your incredible human body move in a way that they are supposed to. This is so that your whole body can thrive in its movement and reduce pressure on

person walking on branch

the WHOLE system – and not just those areas that you perceive to be a problem.

One such area of the body that sadly a lot of us forget about is our feet! They need to move through a full range of movement like any other joint in your body does. Your feet are an important and integral part of your whole musculoskeletal system.

Did you know?

Each foot has 26 bones and 33 joints! ALL of these bones / joints need to move. When your feet don’t move so well, your body will find the necessary movement elsewhere e.g. another joint(s). Over time, this can result in anything from a slight niggle to significant pain in other areas in your body – even if your feet don’t cause you any pain.

The purpose of this blog is to introduce you to the only TWO movements that your feet need to be able to do. These foot shapes correlate with shaping further up the chain – but we’ll stick with just the feet for now.

brown and white skeleton foot
  1. PRONATION: when the arch of the foot lowers to the ground
  • Importantly, whilst maintaining 3 points of contact on the ground i.e. your tripod (the base of your big toe, the base of your little toe and your heel)
  • Pronation is when the foot lengthens and spreads to adapt to the surface beneath it
  • Pronation simplified: the foot will FLATTEN, LENGTHEN and WIDEN

(See our Footwear for Happy Feet blog to get top tips for finding footwear that allows your foot movement to move freely and uninhibited) Footwear for happy feet - Physioflexx Ayrshire

  • SUPINATION: when the arch of the foot increases in height
  • As with pronation, TRUE supination only occurs when you can maintain contact with your tripod on the ground
  • The foot will shorten, become rigid to help propel us forward when
person's right foot
  • walking
  • Supination simplified: the foot SHORTENS, NARROWS and increases in HEIGHT

Start to notice how your feet move more. Can you keep the tripod on the ground when you bear weight on that leg? Be more curious. You may notice that you aren’t aware of all 3 points – if not, we’d encourage you to learn how to utilise your feet effectively with support from one of our therapists.

Happy Feet?

If you would like to have your feet or any other niggle or pain assessed, get in touch! Book Online - Physioflexx Ayrshire

We often find that people are limited to some extent in their feet movement for a variety of reasons - but did you know that optimising how your feet and body move can have a profound impact on how good your body feels? references: About Gary – Finding Centre
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