Hi, this is Jennifer. Today I want to talk about knee pain and how sometimes working on your feet can actually help with your knee.
The knee often is the victim of things going on in the hip. You can check out the blog on the Glute Meade, if that’s something you’re interested in learning about. Sometimes, though, the knee is also the victim of the feet of you just kind of stand and shift your weight towards the inside of your foot, or the arch and then out towards the outside of your foot back and forth, you can feel how that changes the distribution of your weight at your knee. If this is your thigh bone, and this is your shin bone, and my hands are the knee, (let’s say this is my left leg), and I have a flat foot or just a collapsed arch that causes me to roll in, so instead of being kind of aligns nice and straight, it really pulls on the inside of the knee and then crunches on the outside of the knee. This is exaggerated for effect here.
Strengthening the intrinsic muscles of the foot or the muscles that hold your arch up, even if you have super flat feet, and it’s never going to be the total opposite and you’ve got a super high arch, can help maintain the arch that you do have and align your weight in your knees a little bit better.
One of my favorite exercises to do that I think it’s totally underrated (people feel like it’s silly or if they can’t do it, they gave up on it) but totally worth it as toe yoga. If my hands are your feet, the first thing you do is splay the toes as far as you can. Splay and then squeeze them together. Then the next thing you do is trying to get your big toe up off the ground, and then push the big toe down to the ground and raise your other toes up off the ground. Up with the big toe, pushing down with the big toe, back and forth. This is called toe yoga and you can help strengthen all of the muscles that are inside the foot itself and when those are strong, they help really pull that arch up and that can, in turn, work its way up the chain and help with knee alignment and knee pain.
Here at Peak Endurance Performance & Physical Therapy we help active adults in the Madison Area get back to the activities they love without pain or limitations. We see people of all ages, ability levels, and individuals trying to get back to a multitude of movements including: getting back into running, women postpartum, CrossFit athletes, climbers, gymnasts, wrestlers, overhead athletes, and your recreational weekend warrior. If you’re looking to get back to the activities that give you meaning, relieve stress, and make you feel like you again, feel free to reach out below and we’ll see if we’re the right fit for you.