Why do my feet hurt?
There’s a lot of reasons why you may be experiencing foot pain, but for a moment let’s look at some of the most common issues like plantar fasciitis, bunions, and hammer toes. The fact is that as modern people our feet don’t get the love they deserve. We spend most of our lives jamming them into shoes that are either too small or too narrow for them. Squeezing our feet into our pretty shoes comes at a price. The front of our feet, ie the distance from our big toe to our pinky toe should ideally be nice and wide. We also over cushion them which stops them from building the muscular resilience and flexibility they need to do things like grab. Yes, I said grab. Remember when you were a kid and you would play grab your parents’ keys off the floor using your feet? Try doing it now and see how far you get! ;o)
How can Pilates help my achey feet?
Our feet are the base of our vertical stance. They should work like strong doming tripods of support to help us constantly negotiate the effects of gravity on our gait. The Pilates Method addresses the strength and flexibility of our feet from the first moment. The first series of exercises Joseph Pilates set out on the Reformer is called “Footwork”. As the name suggests, it’s all about building strength, flexibility, and mobility in our feet and ankles. If we don’t have mobility down the chain, how can we create it up the chain in our hips for example? Yes! It’s all connected! Aside from the specific Footwork series of exercises, there is a plethora of other exercises that stem from a strong standing stance.
The strength and flexibility of our foot muscles is also heavily connected to the strength and flexibility of our lower leg muscles. Do your calf muscles feel tight? They could be contributing to your plantar fasciitis. Are your shin muscles weak? They could be contributing to gait patterns that are linked to issues you are having in your hips or lower back. Do your ankles have a full range of mobility or are they feeling limited in some angles? Imagine how much harder that makes it for your body to do things like twist and turn on your feet suddenly.
Pilates teaches you to “stand in your feet”
Seems simple, but so many of us have forgotten how to do this very simple thing. If we can stand in our feet, we can’t activate the entire chain of muscles that go up our legs into our hips. In other words, we will struggle connecting our legs to our center which is the source of all movement, control, and strength.
Need help figuring out what’s going on with your feet? We would love to help you! Book a FREE consultation with us today.
In the meantime, check out this 5 minute video that shows you how you can roll out and release your feet using either a tennis or lacrosse ball. Super easy, super fast, and such a great way to end your day!