One of the biggest points I took away from the recent MCT trigger point class involved fixing problems from the ground up. Feet are so incredibly important and precious. Feet are the starting place for fixing problems in the MCT trigger point world. Generally, I observe a lot of people foam rolling their backs, lats or quads. The big muscle groups that do a lot of work. But what about our feet. When you are at home foam rolling, as a good athlete does, are you foam rolling or using a lacrosse ball on your feet? Why not? There are so many ligaments and muscles doing all kinds of work down there all the time. They work just as hard if not harder as all the other muscle groups we have.
Feet are the front line when it comes to impact on the body and are required to be pliable enough to adapt to many different surfaces. On the flip side, if your feet are damage or impaired in any way it requires a total body compensation method that can throw your natural balance off and disrupt movement patterns. For example, We can sprain our fingers and it’s simply a matter of using our other fingers or hands to help manipulate objects. We bang our toe on the corner of a door or dresser and we hobble along helplessly for a few minutes or hours depending on the intensity of the impact. The posture changes, walking mechanics are altered. Recruitment of muscles not normally used in walking can be activated; like our shoulders to brace us against a wall as we hobble along. It’s silly that such a small area of our body is so important. But that is the point. Just because it is small, it doesn’t deserve to be ignored during MCT therapy or foam rolling.
Women take heed. I see women wear 5-6inch heels and watch the way it affects their body. All women with heel wearing experience are affected. From the young girl walking like a newborn fawn; legs and ankles wobbly and transferring into the upper body. Knees forward, pelvis tilted and lumbar hyper extended to the veteran runway model who artificially drops her hips to emphasize the femininity of her walk and transferring some of the flexion and extension into her upper back. That isn’t a natural pattern of walking. And men, on a sunny day wearing flip flops; toes curled to hold the sandal causing the toes hyper extend to maintain shoe position. Ouchie. I’m not saying drop the heels and sandals in a heap and burn them. Just don’t neglect the feet when you stretch and foam roll. It’s as simple as taking a lacrosse ball under a socked foot and rolling it around in small circles, applying as much pressure as you can stand. Same with the new MCT rollers. Wear socks and roll gently back and forth.
Side note, as an alternative to flip flop, may I suggest Tom’s or Sanuk’s sidewalk surfers. As far as heels go, well I guess some like to suffer for fashion.
We push with our legs and balance with our feet. Shake our bodies to the beat and hustle and flow with your feet. Would you run a marathon on your hands? It’s 26.2 on your feet. Take care of them and treat them well. It’s nice to come home after a long day at work or hard day at the gym and roll out your feet. Below is another great resource about feet from CrossFit Endurance, B-Mack and MWOD’s K-Starr.