How often do you think about the way your foot works? Probably not that often and yet they do so much work for us. Every step, leap, jump, and every second you spend standing…they’re involved.
Not only are the foot and ankle important for these activities, but they can also have a profound influence on knee, hip & back function. How efficiently and comfortably you lunge to pick up your shoes could be determined by your ankle mobility, for example.
Dysfunction at these joints can contribute to lower back, hip and knee pain and can also affect shoulder and upper limb function in full body activities like throwing sports.
When we perform an assessment or treatment we consider what influence these joints may be having on you– whether it is foot pain, low back pain, or for improved performance in sports and lifestyle activities. We frequently incorporate mobility exercises into your treatment plans to ensure that we get the best possible outcome.
These simple mobilisation exercises are an effective way of restoring the available range of motion in the midfoot and ankle joints. The dorsiflexion technique will help to improve squatting or lunging movements, which are useful for simple tasks like getting out of a chair through to complex exercises like Olympic lifting techniques.
The subtalar exercise helps to promote the smooth rolling of the foot during walking and running which can reduce rotational stress at the knee and hip joints.
Through regular practice we can encourage efficient joint movement, and develop finer control of these movements. This is useful because it means you can be better equipped to respond to changes in terrain, and can become better at avoiding injury further down the track.
At MOH what we find is most beneficial in developing optimal control of these joints, is a combination of mobility work and Clinical Pilates…check out what Pilates exercises are the most useful by visiting Leo’s video on Pilates for the foot and ankle.
Want to know more?
You can learn more about our approach to foot & ankle pain and improving function by checking out blogs in the MOH foot & ankle series;
- Functional Osteopathic assessment of the foot & ankle
- Osteopathic treatment for foot & ankle pain
- Effective exercises for foot & ankle strength
- Pilates for ankle strength & stability
- Myotherapy for ankle dysfunction
For more information, ideas and exercises check out our Health Tips blog.