Developing a Strong Foot Core Can Forestall Pain and Injury

Patrick McKeon, PhD, ATC, CSCS, a professor at the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance, Ithaca College, comments in a news release that the benefits of going barefoot in avoiding pain from a variety of foot conditions are being ignored. Barefoot activities can greatly improve balance and posture and prevent common injuries like shin splints, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, bursitis, and tendonitis in the Achilles tendon, according to McKeon. The practice can help to develop a strong ‘foot core,’ by toning the small, often overlooked muscles in the feet that play a role similar to the core muscles in the abdomen in movement and stability.

McKeon describes a foot core feedback loop involving the larger “extrinsic” muscles of the foot and leg, the smaller “intrinsic” muscles of the foot, and the neural connections that send information from those muscle sets to the brain. Shoe wearing is culpable in the breakdown of this loop, by dampening the information connection of body and environment and of small muscles to large muscles. The disconnect can then lead to overuse injuries and pain that accompany various foot maladies. McKeon also details an exercise, called short-foot that can additionally help to develop the foot core.

Read about minimally invasive treatment for plantar fasciitis, here

For more info re foot pain diagnosis and treatment, here.

A news story about the recommendations, with link to a video on the short-foot exercise, may be read here.

 

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