Heel Walks

Doing heel walks will help strengthen the tibialis anterior, the muscle that is located in the front of the shin. The primary action of the tibialis anterior is to flex the foot upward while maintaining the heel on the ground.  For people who have high arches in their feet this muscle is often weak and will lead to plantar fasciitis. Strengthening this muscle is a great way to prevent and reduce the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, such as inflammation.  One way to strengthen the muscle is to walk on your heels. THE MOVE To perform Heel Walks: Stand on your heels with your toes as high as possible Walk for 30 seconds. Rest and repeat 3 times. Download Heel...

Sprained Ankles

Q. I have a long history of spraining my ankles.  What can I do to prevent future ankle sprains? A.  More often than not, a sprained ankle is due to a loss of proprioception and balance in the ankles, and not necessarily a strength issue. Proprioception is your body’s ability to sense its position in space. A classic example of when your proprioception fails you is when you trip on a flat surface while walking. Often you look back puzzled and in search of something sticking up that may have tripped you, only to see that there was nothing there. Some experts will argue that our shoes prevent the full development of the proprioceptors in our feet and ankles, which inhibit us from being able to quickly adapt to the ground surface. 1. Balance with one foot on a flat, stable surface for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other foot. 2. Stand on one foot on a flat, stable surface for 30 seconds with your eyes closed. Repeat with the other foot. 3. Using an unstable surface, balance on one leg for 30 seconds with your eyes open. For an unstable surface try a rolled-up or folded yoga mat, BOSU-ball, or wobble-board. 4. Using an unstable surface, balance on one leg for 30 seconds with your eyes now closed. For an unstable surface try a rolled-up or folded yoga mat, BOSU-ball, or wobble-board. 5. Play light catch with a light-weighted ball while balancing on one foot for 30 seconds each leg. Have a partner toss it to you at different areas. Unfortunately, the ankle isn’t the only part that needs...

Ski Jump

THE MOVE This is an exercise is designed to strengthen the arch and the intrinsic muscles of the foot. The first picture shows the initial starting position for the ski jump exercise. The toes are to remain relaxed. As she starts to leans forward she stops her forward lean with the arches and the balls of her feet, but not using her toes. She tries to stay relatively upright. She will rock back and forth slowly and do approximately 10 repititions. Download Ski...

Ankle Self Mobilization

The patients begins one foot forward and a few inches away from the wall. The patient supports himself against the wall with his hands. With the heel staying in contact with the floor, bring the knee forward so it touches the wall (ankle dorsiflexion). Repeat 10 times with each foot. Gradually work the feet back after each set, paying particular attention to symmetry. If one knee fails to reach the wall from a distance that the other reaches easily, continue working to bring that ankle up to par. DO NOT work the more mobile ankle at a greater distance than the less mobile one. Download Ankle Self Mobilization   [jwplayer player=”1″...

Plantar Fasciitis

By Dr. Josh Akin, DC, ART, MUA Provider Plantar fasciitis is a condition of inflammation in the fibrous tissue that travels from the calcaneus to the base of the toes. Often the structures, particularly the muscles and tendons that lie below the fascia also become involved. Typically, those are the structures that get very inflamed and are tender to the touch. This condition is the result of repetitive stresses to the area that develop over an extended period of time. These stresses include but are not limited to altered biomechanics during walking or running, a sudden increase in activity, injury to the lower extremity or shoes that are not properly fitted to the foot. Once the tissue integrity is compromised by any of these stresses, the body responds by laying down scar tissue to stabilize the area and prevent any further injury or inflammation. This results in shortening of the plantar aponeurosis and adhesions between the fascia and the underlying structures. Treatment of this condition is approached in two different manners. First, chiropractic manipulation is performed to the pelvic region and any lower extremity joints necessary, ensuring proper bony alignment. Secondly, the soft tissues are treated with Active Release Technique® (ART). This aspect of treatment is able to break up any scar tissue and adhesions that may have been laid down by the body, while restoring normal translation between all of structures on the bottom of the foot. Soft tissue treatment, as well as the chiropractic manipulation, focuses not only on the foot, but the entire kinetic chain beginning with the foot, moving through the gastrocnemius/soleus, the hamstring and into the pelvic musculature. This allows for the restoration of circulation and oxygen-supply to the...

Short Foot

The short foot exercise is recommended by postural expert Vladimir Janda in his book “Muscle Function Testing,” to build strength, stability and endurance in the muscles and tendons that support the arch. THE MOVE Sit with good posture in a sturdy chair with both feet on the floor, your toes facing straight forward, and your knees bent to 90 degrees. Inhale, contract the muscles on the bottom of your right foot and lower legs to raise the arch of your foot without curling your toes. This position is called the short foot position. Hold this isometric muscle contraction for six seconds, then exhale and relax. Turn your lower leg slightly outward, inhale and again come to the short foot position. Hold for six seconds, exhale and relax. Next turn your lower leg inward, and perform another isometric contraction for six seconds. Repeat the identical series of exercises with your left foot. Reposition your feet an inch farther away from the chair, and perform repetitions in the straight, outward and inward ankle positions with both feet. After each series, inch your foot forward until you perform a total of five series with each foot. Sliding your feet farther away from the chair each rep works the muscles at slightly different angles. Download Short...