Our feet are just amazing! Think about how the slender bones of the big toe not only carry but propel our entire body-weight with each step we take.
The bones in the foot are arranged so that there can be three arches: one in the instep, one in the outer part of the foot and one in the forefoot. They are supported by strong ligaments. But what really holds the arches up are the small muscles in the feet – ligaments will stretch! In order to function well, these small foot muscles need lots of stimulation: walking and running over forest floors, pebbles, rocks, climbing trees… you get my drift.
And what do “civilized” people do? Create flat surfaces and enclose their poor little feet in shoes that restrict their movement!!! The little foot muscles don’t stand a chance. And unfortunately, neither does the spine, because the foot muscles have reflex arcs with the spinal muscles. So if you get a tired or achey back after being on your feet for a long time it means your feet are exhausted!
So here’s what to do:
- walk barefoot as much as possible (and when you are on the beach, check that your feet are parallel!)
- if you can’t, get some of those funky new shoes that have individual pockets for each toe (feel free to inspect my new footwear!) – and yes, the soles are nice and hard, because that way the brain gets the input it needs from the feet, reducing the injury risk that highly padded shoes pose
- if you have to wear specific shoes for work, eg. steelcaps, and your spine or your back is sore, get Graham or myself to check if your feet are in need of help; we can provide you with some soft proprioceptive orthotics that stimulate the small muscles in the foot.
And – get a foot massage every so often, just to say thank you to your hard-working feet 🙂