Don’t think the foot matters? Think again! Changing up what the foot does can resolve so many issues with the body, including generating power, gaining control and stability, and resolving pain. And no, I am not just talking about power, control, stability, and pain in the foot! I’m talking about may other places in the legs and back.
Let’s have story time today…
This athlete had pain in his quadriceps tendon (top and front of the knee) with squatting for quite some time without relief. He would rest to let it calm down, but it kept returning. Many people like this have a quad dominant squat pattern, but looking at his movement patterns he did a great job of initiating the movement with his hips and staying out of a quad dominant pattern. Further assessment revealed he was letting his feet roll to the outside, losing contact of the ground with his big toe. With cues to activate the foot and keep the big toe on the ground, changing nothing else about his squat, he reported an immediate resolution of pain and feeling the glutes firing, which he had not felt before.
The discussion with him revealed what is common to many people. He had been instructed to keep his knees out when squatting, so he was doing that. Unfortunately, he was doing that by rolling to the outside of his foot rather than using the hips to do it, which eventually contributed to pain.
This athlete was reporting difficulty stepping up on higher surfaces when hiking, like he could not generate any power to push up once he got his foot up. He stated he found himself using the leg that was down to propel him upward or using his hands to pull him up. Using a box to test movement, he attempted to step up like he normally would, which required him to push up with the bottom leg in order to get up. With cues to activate his foot when stepping up, he was able to step up without the assistance of the leg that was down and reported he felt the glutes kicking in to help now, which he had not been able to create prior.
This athlete had an extensive history of lower leg pain and hypersensitivity which also created hip and low back issues. Multiple clinicians and coaches addressed everything possible with her back and hip, but nothing was resolving the lower leg symptoms. After working on her foot control for 2 weeks, her symptoms in her lower leg began decreasing. She went from being unable to run for 18 months due to her symptoms to starting to run/walk 2-3 miles without increasing symptoms within a few weeks.
Through the process, we also found she had very little control when standing on a single leg, which was contributing to a lot of her issues. Addressing the balance issues along with the foot really helped move things along with her.
Small little tweaks in the foot can make huge changes! Are you dealing with issues that you cannot figure out where they are coming from? Maybe it is time you look at the foot! Not sure what to do? No problem! Let’s get on a FREE Discovery Call to get you on your way.
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