Have you ever seen a person who walks with his feet turned out?
Have you ever seen a person who has knees that go inward?
When you do see this, what is your first thought?
Maybe even you have these conditions and have never done anything about it, yet you suffer from knee and low back pain.
The first place a fitness professional should assess is the foot complex as it gives us so much information to the performance, or better yet the future predictor of injuries of an individual.
The above conditions have many causes, but the good part is that they have a solution.
Let's look first at the condition of flat feet:
When a person who has flat feet runs or walks the entire gait pattern has to change. This will create compensation and alignment issues. The body is smart in its mechanics and when alignments are off it will use compensatory muscle groups to assist and this causes potential for injury.
The use of orthodics can help put the foot into a nuetral position so the ankle, knee, and hips work in an integrated biomechanically correct position. This will contribute to a greater level of performance and allow the healing process of the body to work on the needs of the muscles working in an appropriate sequence.
Many parents and coaches feel the use of orthodics is unnecessary, and the athlete should work through it. That's like trying to drive a car on three tires and being told to step on the gas and go....and watch what the car does. It will veer to one side, spark the rim on the ground and be slow, not to mention dangerous for the driver and rest of the vehicle.
The condition of flat feet will cause a dynamic misalignment and what you can expect is an incease in the possible painful conditions.
Plantar fascitis, shin splints, low back pain, and frontal knee pain. Do these sound like fun? Or do these sound like someone you may know.
If the muscles that are overused, muscles that are weak, and joint that is misaligned are addressed the condition can be reversed. I believe in a proactive approach to training and the corrective exercise techniques to avoid injury.
Tryouts for soccer, spring football, and track and field are on the way. Not to mention as the weather warms people want to get out and run more. If you notice - or are told your feet are flat - please consider the availabilty of information and medical and training options out there.
Do not risk injury and being put on the shelf because of a condition you can solve. If your feet are flat, schedule an appointment with a qualified foot doctor, possibly get orthodics for your shoes, seek professional qualified information from a corrective exercise specialist and/or physical therapist to address weak, and tight muscles that contribute to the condition.
Buy yourself the appropriate footwear for your sport and recreation.
We all like to be active, but when we have pain it's tough to get up and go. Do the right thing for your body and put your feet first.