How Important is Foot Flexibility?

A study published in the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery has shown that foot structure plays a significant role in determining foot flexibility. In this study, the authors propose a system to help understand arch height, flexibility, and overall foot function. This system is aimed to help in future studies to assess how different foot structures affect the biomechanics of the lower extremity. The study's purpose was to propose a classification scheme based on the foot structure. This data set included many foot types and different levels of flexibility. It also determined the most common causes of ankle pain. The findings of this study could be of great value to anyone with foot problems.

The plantar fascia, for example, is a critical part of the body and influences sensorimotor control. It spans the base of the foot, providing support of the arch. When the ligaments of the arch are weak or too long, it can affect the system of muscles and tendons and ankle joint range of motion. A weak or over-developed plantar fascia can interfere with control over posture. In these cases, patients with plantar fasciitis must perform stretching and strengthening exercises to improve their plantar foot reflexes.

Arch flexibility is a critical factor in overall foot flexibility. Many individuals suffer from fallen arches, resulting in "flat feet". It starts in childhood and progresses throughout the adult years. The condition is often a result of a deformation in the soft tissues of the arch. The foot does not return to an upright arch when standing, rather the arch spreads out with no support. The foot does, however, remain rigid and will aggravate the condition if it is asymmetrical. If this is the case, there may be a need for surgery.

There are several exercises that improve ankle flexibility. The first one is the "toe curl" exercise. This is a simple movement that involves curling the toes as you point your foot. The second exercise, the "toe extension" exercise, involves extending the toes while flexing the foot. Performing both variations of the toes should be done twice a day for two weeks. It is best to do stretches on a daily basis, and repeat these as often as possible.

The foot muscles located on the bottom of the feet connect all the way up the lower back, and through to the base of the skull. This is called the Superficial Back Line (SBL), which connects and protects the entire posterior surface of the body. The plantar fascia, providing support in the foot's arch, is connected throughout this line, affecting and being affected by correct or poor posture in any or all areas of the body.

The tibia and ankle muscles, tendons, and ligaments are the two closest main structures with close connection to the foot. Both of them have an effect and are affected by flexibility in the plantar fascia. In addition to these muscles, the foot is supported by a ligament that runs along the bottom of the leg. It is connected to the tibia through the midfoot. The tibia and fibula are linked by the tibia and peroneus. The tibia and ankle are joined by the navicular bone. In order for the foot to move freely, all of these connections need to be flexible and strong. The navicular bone, which attaches to the tibia, needs to be firm in order for the foot to function properly. The navicular bone can be affected by excessive pronation.

A foot injury can be a major problem, preventing your normal daily activities. It is essential to correct foot posture and avoid over-pronation. If your foot pronates excessively, it can cause pain, discomfort, and even cause damage to the ankle and other structures along the line of connection. Therefore, it is important to keep a foot in a neutral position by stretching and exercising it properly. Favoring an injured foot and changing gate or stride may provide relief from the pain, but the rest of the body will suffer from being forced to work in poor posture, causing long-term strains, soreness, and sometimes additional injuries.

PowerStep takes foot function and support of the plantar fascia very seriously, as this one structure alone has control over posture not only in the feet, but the entire body. PowerStep insoles provide orthopedic arch support and heel alignment to improve foot function and avoid overpronation and supination, and to treat painful issues such as fallen arches, plantar fasciitis, and painful neuromas.

Journal of Orthopedic Surgery