You Need to Know This
People of all ages and walks of life are trying out yoga. From Bikram Hot Yoga styles to the more traditional Hatha yoga, the yoga world is inviting you to summon your inner Yogi or Yogini!
Have you thought of giving it a go? Many people are embarrassed because they are either not flexible enough, they have poor balance, or they worry someone might see their feet.
Remember your first class… Did you feel pain and tension in your calf muscles, shins, arches, big toe joints or ankles while you were inverting yourself in downward dog, summoning your inner warrior, or twisting yourself in knots in eagle pose?
Your feet are the foundation for your posture. This means better feet can mean better balance, strength and posture in your asana poses.
Your body recognises weak or unstable feet, and compensates to prevent injury. This compensation can make it very difficult to use your strength effectively, and can leave you feeling weak and unstable.
Consider a house built on an unstable foundation. It will develop cracks and creaks as it shifts to find the most stable resting position to prevent it from completely collapsing.
A podiatry assessment might be just what you need to find weaknesses before they become a problem.
Podiatrists can assess your foot stability, and improve the function of your foot joints and leg muscles using a range of manual techniques including massage, dry needling, and foot mobilisation techniques.
The result? Better grounding and balance for your yoga poses, better strength through your body, and you get more out of your yoga.
Podiatrists can also show you what you need to do to help yourself. Simple exercises such as stretching, strengthening and self massage can get your feet prepared for the mat, and improve your balance on the mat.
Oh, and for those worried about the appearance of your feet, podiatrists can help by painlessly removing unsightly corns, callus, fungal or thickened toenails, and cracked heels.
So, I ask you please. Consider your feet! Healthy feet will allow you to discover the transformative power of yoga. Yoga helps you move with more freedom, ease your back pain, sleep better, improve vitality and find energy you never knew you had.
You will be back-bending, toe-touching and sun saluting in no time.
Bailey Keatley is a podiatrist at Posture Podiatry in Adelaide, and a Yoga practitioner and instructor.
One thing we love to do as podiatrists is to look at the wear pattern on the base of your shoes.
A common problem we see is wearing down of the outside of the heel. Contrary to what people may think, this is not a sign that your feet are rolling in or out, but it is actually more to do with your hip position as your foot swings through from one step to the next.
Another common problem is a circular wear pattern on one or both of your shoes under the forefoot. This is telling us that as you push off from one step to the next you may be twisting your foot slightly in order to clear the ground.
Take a look at the shoes you are wearing right now and see what areas are wearing down.
By looking at your shoes, podiatrists can detect problems with hamstrings, Achilles tendons, big toes, knees, hips, back pain and even headaches.
Your shoes don’t lie!
The wear pattern on the base of your shoes can give podiatrists valuable clues as to how your posture is affecting your walking, and where there may be a loss of efficiency.
Try this out
A good thing to do at home is to line up three pairs of shoes, turn them over and study the wear pattern of the base of your shoes to see if there are any inconsistencies.
Do you notice that the wear pattern is the same from one shoe to the next, or does it change?
And of the shoes you have chosen, is the wear pattern different on the ones that are least comfortable?
Do you notice that one shoe looks different to the other shoe? Even minor differences can be an indication of asymmetry, which could be contributing to pain or injury.
If you do notice any of these, it may be worth investigating further. You may have just discovered the map that could lead you to the source of your pain.
The podiatrists at Posture Podiatry are trained to interpret the wear pattern on your shoes to find the best outcome for you.
My mother is a physiotherapist, and she has always told me, “Invest in what you sit in and sleep on”.
We spend a lot of our time sleeping; we also spend a lot of our time sitting. However I am going to take it one step further (no pun intended)…
We also spend a lot of time walking.
That’s right. Did you know that in your lifetime you will walk on average the distance equivalent to 4 times around Earth?
While my mother’s sage advice still rings true, when I now pass on the same advice I add, “Invest in what you sit in, sleep on, and walk in.”
There is no avoiding it. You actually do get what you pay for in a shoe. And with the amount of force that goes through your feet, it is good to wear shoes that help your body move efficiently.
How do I know what shoe is right for me?
Not all feet are equal. There are some shoes that are suitable for some people, and not suitable for others.
However, with an entire shoe industry dedicated to providing us with unlimited choice, how can we choose a shoe that is appropriate for us?
Remember the “4 S’s” when it comes to choosing the right shoe for you:
- Size – Ensure there is a thumb-width space at the end of your shoe so your toes don’t get cramped. Try them on at the end of the day when your feet are more swollen.
- Support – Check your shoes to make sure they are rigid in the middle, flexible at the toes, and have a firm heel counter for support.
- Secure – Loosely fitting shoes cause aching and tiredness. Choose shoes that are secure on your feet with laces or a buckle so you will be able enjoy your day for longer.
- Soft – With the force of 4 times your body weight going through your feet with walking, it is good to have some cushioning in your shoes.
At Posture Podiatry, we realise that fashionable footwear is also important, so we have worked out ways to help you cope with those shoes that would otherwise need to be peeled off your feet at the end of a long night.
If you would like us to help you find the right shoe for you, recommend good shoe stores, or even assess your shoe collection (we have had people bring suitcases full of shoes to their appointments!), come on in and have a talk with one the podiatrists at Posture Podiatry.
We can help you find the right shoes for you.
And remember to think carefully about what you sit in, sleep on and walk in!
Running styles vary according to distance, terrain and body type. Here are some helpful tips on how to maximise your ability to run strong and efficiently.
- Stand upright with a gentle lean forward
- Look straight ahead (unless you are on uneven terrain)
- Avoid twisting your body
- Run Quietly
- Visualise yourself as a ninja sneaking up on someone
- Your feet should touch the ground directly beneath you, not out in front of you
- You should avoid slapping ground with your feet, or pounding with your heels
- Kick the Dust Behind You
- It is much better to kick behind you than reach out in front of you to lengthen your stride
- Don’t over-stride – this can cause Shin Splints, Achilles problems, ITB pain and hip flexor pain
- Speed up those steps (Cadence)
- Think 3 steps per second (180 beats per minute)
- Run in time with fast tempo music
- Keep the same tempo whether you are running slow or fast
Make sure you have the correct shoes for your running style
The Podiatrists at Posture Podiatry can help you by assessing your running style, recommending the correct footwear and giving you helpful running drills to get the most out of your run.
Knee pain has the potential to stop you in your tracks.
But what has Mexico got to do with it?
Someone once told me they thought of the knee as Mexico… below the knee is the foot and lower leg – or South America, and above the knee there is the hip and pelvis – North America!
Often we blame the knee for the problem, but it’s likely to be something from either below the knee or above the knee that could be the cause.
So, when you think of your knee pain, consider the following 3 things:
- Are my feet in good alignment below the knee?
This is a good way to tell if your knees are having abnormal stress on them because of the position of your feet. Feet that roll in (pronate) will cause your knee to rotate inwards, feet that roll out (supinate) will make your knee rotate outwards causing stress.
- Does my knee tend to track in or out?
You can test this the next time you sit in a chair. Watch your knees as you sit down, and again as you rise, do they move in or out? Or do they stay in good alignment as they bend?
- Do I also have problems with hip pain and back pain? Or pain along the outside of my thigh?
Hip and back pain coupled with knee pain can be a warning sign that your knee pain is not just a problem with the knee. You may need to look higher to find the true cause of your knee pain.
The podiatrists at Posture Podiatry care about your knees, and can help you find the true cause of your knee pain, and treat it for you.
Contact us today if you have knee pain!