The plantar fascia gets blamed for all of the pain on the bottom of the foot – when in reality – there are other reasons why your feet might hurt.
I’ve shared with you how pain on the bottom of your foot can be coming from a number of causes that aren’t plantar fasciitis.
And ignoring those other potential reasons for your foot pain could mean you waste your time treating something that isn’t the problem.
You’ll spend time rolling the bottom of your foot on a lacrosse ball, a golf ball, or a frozen water bottle. You might start wearing socks that force your foot into a dorsiflexed position while you sleep, thinking that will solve your problems. You may even pull back on your favorite activities thinking that rest will heal things up in your foot.
Here’s a question for you: is it because you’re deficient in foot-ball rolling and that’s why your foot hurts?
The answer is, no, you do not have a ‘foot-ball rolling deficiency’.
(Rolling your feet out isn’t wrong, it simply isn’t the one-stop-shop for fixing sub-optimal foot function. There is much more to foot health than just foot-ball rolling.)
What’s more likely is that your foot isn’t moving and loading/unloading its joints and tissues very well, and you started compensating by overusing other soft tissue, and moving hard-tissue into new, unnatural positions.
Did your feet betray you? Why did your feet start hurting in the first place?
It could be that your entire foot and ankle system hasn’t been well-tended over the years.
It could be that your fitness pie isn’t being allocated well.
Or, it could also be that you’ve lost stability, and as a consequence have dumped strength and mobility.
Good news – it’s fixable. And the foundation of all of it, is with your foot tripod.
Stable Tripod, Stable Foot
To have a stable foot, you need a strong tripod. Tripods, with their three legs, are sturdy.
This is what your tripod of your foot is made up of: the base of your first metatarsal, the base of your fifth metatarsal, and your calcaneus.
Here’s what The Gait Guys* have to say about the foot tripod, and why getting back to your tripod is so important (bold is mine):
“Remember, we were born with both our rearfoot and forefoot designed to engage on the same plane (the flat ground). We were not born with the heel raised higher than the forefoot. And, the foot’s many anatomically congruent joint surfaces, their associated ligaments, the lines of tendon pull and all the large and small joint movements and orchestrations with each other are all predicated on this principle of a rearfoot and forefoot on the same plane. This is how our feet were designed from the start.
*The Gait Guys are the most in-depth clinicians I’ve ever seen for the foot. If you want to check out their site, just know you will be heading into a brain-exploding depth of knowledge. 😉
When your tripod is strong and stable, you can:
- generate more force by being able to push the ground away harder
- create more foot and ankle stability
- stop relying on your plantar fascia to act as the only tie-rod supporting load under your foot
- avoid pain from overuse and misuse of other soft tissue in your foot and ankle
How do you start making your tripod more stable?
You start bringing back the mobility to the thirty-three joints in your foot and ankle.
You start creating tissue pliability in the over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
You begin re-building the strength that was in your foot muscles at one time, but may have been lost due to footwear, learned-improper gait, or injury.
I’ve filmed a video for you to show you seven movements you can do to start improving your foot tripod. These are basic movements and positions you can do daily to help you find, and strengthen, your foot tripod.
And when your foot functions better, overuse and misuse pain can subside.
For the vast majority, foot pain subsides as you begin to regain mobility, position, and strength in your foot. However, if you have already developed bony calcifications (like bunions and heel spurs), your road to better foot health looks a little different. You can still regain mobility and foot function, but, bone is hard-tissue. It’s likely not going away once it has developed. Don’t let that frustrate you though. Take action on what you can.[feature_box_creator style=”1″ width=”” top_margin=”” bottom_margin=”” top_padding=”” right_padding=”” bottom_padding=”0″ left_padding=”” alignment=”center” bg_color=”#bfbfbf” bg_color_end=”#bfbfbf” border_color=”#ffe41f” border_weight=”” border_radius=1″ width”” border_style=”solid” ]
Want to understand, once and for all, how to start feeling good and moving well?
My book, The Movement Manifesto, will help you get started on the right foot.