Proper Foot Alignment Results in a Balanced Body
Foot alignment is something we don’t think about that often, but it’s integral to healthy feet and joints. Your foot alignment affects your posture, balance, functional strength, and gait. Misaligned feet can cause foot problems such as calluses, plantar fasciitis and bunions, and joint pain in the knees, hips, and back.
In her book, “Natural Solutions to Common Foot Problems,” Dr. Dawn Figlo cites foot alignment as a physical health pillar. Fortunately, there are ways to improve foot alignment and get your whole body in balance.
Are your feet in alignment?
Ask yourself these questions: Do you find yourself rolling your feet in or out while standing? Do you feel off-balance or experience falls?
When the foot is pronating and supinating, it is out of its neutral alignment. Pronation is when the foot rolls inward, and supination is when the foot rolls outward. Both indicated misalignment of the foot.
Here are some ways to check your alignment
1- Look at your footprint. Wet your feet and stand on a dry surface like cement to see what parts of your feet touch the ground.
2- Look at the wear patterns of your shoes. In pronation, you will see more wear on the inside and supination on the outside. Normal gait goes from heel strike (outer heel) and transfers to toe-off (the big toe joint).
3-perform this exercise:
- Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
- Inhale, lift your heels until your toes are pointed on the floor.
- Exhale, and lower your heels slowly.
While you’re doing this, check for the following:
- When you lift your heels, do they stay hidden behind your toes?
- Do your ankles line up over your toes or wobble?
- Did your heels stay hidden when you lowered your feet?
- Do your knees stay straight or wobble when you lift your feet up and down?
When you lift your heels up and down, they should stay in line with your foot.
Here are a few ways to improve your alignment.
Strengthen your feet with 3-Position heel Raise
This exercise stabilizes your ankle muscles, which regulate your leg bones. Keep looking at your feet to make sure they stay straight.
- Stand with your feet placed together and your back straight.
- Lift yourself on your toes ten times.
- Stand in the same position, but point your toes outward, so your feet form a V-shape.
- Lift yourself up 10 times.
- Turn your toes away from your body and repeat the exercise 10 times.
Custom insoles (orthotics)
A podiatrist will make a mold of your foot while holding your foot in (subtalar joint) neutral to achieve your proper alignment. An insole created from the mold customizes your everyday shoes and keeps your foot aligned. Custom orthotics are also very beneficial for athletes while performing sports.
Static Back Stretch
This exercise lengthens your spine muscles and helps rotate your pelvic girdle into a straighter position. You will need a yoga block or a stack of pillows. It’s essential to do this on a firm surface.
- Place the block or pillows on the floor.
- Lie down in front of the block with your knees bent and your lower legs resting on the b block.
- Your legs should feel comfortable.
- Extend your arms to the side.
- Hold this position for three minutes.
Some people find this very relaxing and enjoyable. You can do this exercise as part of your exercise routine, yoga routine, or meditation session.
A Balanced Being
Balance and alignment encompass so much more than structural health. Living a balanced lifestyle and aligning with our values paves the way to healthy living. The Organic Foot is the alignment of health and happiness.