We've all been told things along the way with varying degrees of truth... Whether you're at the office or at the gym, here are 5 of the most important things you need to know about your ankles and feet!
1. ANKLES ALLOW US TO WALK UP MOUNTAINS
The ankle is made to move many different directions so that it can handle many different surfaces. It can move in and out and up and down to handle different slopes, inclines, and uneven surfaces (most importantly, mountain trails!). It is made to do that so that the rest of the body can stay upright even when the surface beneath you may not be completely flat.
2. ARE FLAT FEET REALLY SO BAD?
Most likely not. Every human body is unique and although there are movement patterns that are important for efficient movement, these patterns are adjustable to fit the unique human body. You just need to find the right balance for you to get your muscles and joints moving properly together.
3. I’VE BEEN WEARING ARCH SUPPORTS MY ENTIRE LIFE!
Arch supports are often overprescribed. You must ask yourself why you wear them. Do you have a good reason or were you just told you need them? Arch supports are similar to a brace. They take over what your muscles are supposed to do. For most people, they are not meant to be worn forever. Your muscles should learn to control foot/ankle motion for long term foot/ankle health. *
4. WHAT'S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT PRONATION...
People are told that ankle/foot pronation causes their knee to fall in and leads to knee problems. While this can sometimes be true, it is definitely told to people too often. You are meant to use your entire foot during activity. You should NOT roll to the outside of your foot to decrease pronation. Don’t worry too much about overcorrecting your foot pronation but focus on the way the whole body moves together.
5. WHY IS THE GREAT TOE SO GREAT?
The great toe (also known as the big toe) contributes to so much of our balance. Stabilizing through the big toe is important for standing balance but also for walking and running. Great toe mobility is also important and the toe needs to be able to extend and flex more than you think to move properly.
At this point you're probably thinking, "well, what do I do about it?" Luckily, we can help! Stay tuned to your email for helpful tips to take care of your ankle or check out our blog for more in depth information.