Okay. So you read our first blog on your rigid shoes and how they are likely making you weaker.
You are probably wondering what you can do about your feet if you want to be stronger or in less pain.
Is the pain in your feet killing you?
First, we need to ask some questions. Is it both feet that are bothering you or is it just one foot? Are they sore all the time or just when you wear certain shoes? Depending on your answers, there is a laundry list of other questions that need to be answered to accurately asses the situation in your body.
These next few points are going to be very general in relation to the complexity involved.
Let's assume that you are dealing with bilateral foot pain meaning BOTH feet and specifically in the arches of your feet. When you wear shoes with higher arch supports, it seems to decrease your pain but that pain returns as soon as the shoes come off. This is a fairly common occurrence in women who have undergone c-sections or overly stressful births. That is usually due to the stress caused to the abdomen and pelvic floor during such events.
(Yes. Your kids started causing you pain in the feet before they became a pain in the ass… potentially… I kid. See our post on negative affects of c-sections and traumatic births)
Now to understand this connection between the abdominal muscles and your feet, I need you to stand up for me. Take your shoes off and stand on a firm surface. I want you to lock/straighten your knees and now curl your toes and form an arch in your feet. Did you feel how that shift changed the position of your legs and triggered you to tighten your abdominals and glutes (stomach and butt)?
If you can't get it right away, stand in front of a mirror so you can see your pelvis move. If that does not help, then you may have caused a degree of "muscular inhibition", meaning a loss in the sensory ability of that tissue to communicate with the nervous system. If that is the case, something like Muscle Activation Techniques may be able to teach your body to have a response again. That can start a chain reaction in your body to get more and more “muscle working” with the nervous system which gives your body better options and can mean being stronger and living with less pain.
Image as you created that arch you could see and feel your pelvis change position. What we did there was to change your posture/alignment from the bottom up. As I mentioned, what we can do now is strengthen those trunk muscles so that your nervous system will actually take over and hold you in proper alignment. This will allow your feet to maintain a neutral position rather than a painful one (fully collapsed).
Now if you are someone that experiences pain in one foot only, then there is a different way we can impact that. It may seem more complicated - and I’ll spare you in this post - but I deal with that often as well.
Yours in health,