Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Do You Have Flat Feet!?!

So I have been taking karate now for about 9 months and my teacher fusses at me a lot about my foot placement. He constantly is telling me I need to turn my feet in!!

So what does turning your feet inward have to do with flat feet. Well What it is medically called it over pronation. The feet basically fall inward cause the arch collapses. It usually starts when you are like 3 years old and your feet are developing.

So what I didn't know was that as a result your feet will turn out to the sides. I have often been teased for walking like a duck. Over time all the muscles in your entire skeleton have to adjust to the incorrect movement of the body so it leads to other problems like problems with posture, back pain, shin splints, heel spurs etc. the list goes on.

Well one of the things I was was researching was why my feet turn out to begin with and how to correct it. There are some different way suggested to resolve the problem. you can get Orthopedic arch supports for one. My mom and grandmother use to force me to wear them as a kid. But I got teased so much about my feet that wearing them made me extremely self conscience. It was like they were confirming that there was something wrong with me so I quickly ran away from it. Not to mention arch supports hurt cause your feet are being forced into a different position.

When I was in highschool I went trough a phase where I tried to force myself to walk with my feet pointed forward. Of course I didn't know this wouldn't work unless you raise the arches of your feet so I never could seem to make that work either.

So the question is. How do you get rid of flat feet especially if you don't wear arch supports. (I wish someone had told me this long ago, cause seriously for many years I thought I was just a lost cause.) By exercising your feet.

I use to think man there must be some kind of gristle in other peoples feet that I don't have. Boy was I wrong. Actually the main problem that causes flat feet and over pronation is lack of muscle strength and development in the arches and ankles. WHAT!!! Yes you don't exercise your feet enough.

Basically if you wear shoe all the time. (Like most of us do it will cause weakness in your feet as well as weird muscle and tendon issues.) I once had a roommate that told me that she had flat feet until she started doing ballet in school. Basically, Ballet dancer have feet with the flexabilty and and muscle controls of their hands. Its cause they have to have extremely strong feet and ankles if they want to be able to prance around on there toes all the time.

In fact, most Ballet Dancers have such good muscle control that can actually raise and lower the muscles in the arch of the foot at will. So I did a little more research into the types of exercises and stretches you can do to make your feet and ankles stronger and more flexible. I have almost no range of motion in my feet. I cant sit on my toes like most people can cause I don't have the foot flexibility.

Some things that are suggested are what is called toe sit ups. These things are cool cause you can do them any time you are just sitting around. You don't even really need any specially equipment. I already had a flexy band thing sitting around the house too so I do use that when I do these. I keep it next to my bed and before I go to sleep or get up I do these little exercise.

I can feel it all across my arches and up the edge of my ankles.

some of the other ballet stuff you can do to improve your feet are in this video. I like these cause you can do them while sitting or standing around. nothing special needed.

So there ya go. I never knew I could ever exercise my feet. It is something I rarely hear talked about in sports and exercise programs but it is actually very important for our balance and walking and especially preventing sprained ankles. in fact I am recovering from one right now.

Arie's Sketch Dump