Sunday, August 26, 2012
Training the foot (and what happens when you do trigger point work daily)
While I was chatting with Emily about her philosophy and experience with feet, she mentioned she recommends everyone stand with a golf ball under each foot at the end of the day. "Stand on it, don't roll," was her advise. Trigger points, or areas which are sore when pressure is applied, can occur where ever there is fascia. The feet, which are used all day, are susceptible to trigger points in the plantar fascia and in some of the deeper layers. Me, being the slightly compulsive person that I am, decided to stand on a little tennis ball I have that is about the size of a golf ball both in the morning and in the evening (if once is good, twice must be better, right?). When I started, it was difficult to apply much pressure at all. I start with the ball right in front of my heel and every 30 seconds, move it forward just a little bit. After 3 weeks of diligent use, the trigger points in my feet have lessened significantly. I will save the science behind soft tissue work for a different day, but if you have trigger points anywhere, know that the pain will greatly be reduced if you perform self soft tissue work regularly. This reduces overactivity in the muscles with trigger points and allows other muscles to begin working. Even better, see a talented massage therapist at least twice a month and perform soft tissue work on yourself daily. Your body will thank you.
Yours in health and wellness,
Osar, E., (2012). Corrective Exercise Solutiojns to Common Hip and Shoulder Dysfunction. On Target Publications: Santa Cruz.
Bhenke, R.S., (2006). Kinetic Anatomy: The Essentials of Human Anatomy, Second Edition, Human Kinetics.
Bolgla, L.A., & Malone, T.R., (2004). Fasciitis and the windlass mechanism: a biomechanical link to clinical practice. Journal of Athletic Training, 39(1), pp. 77-82.
Jung, D.Y., Kim, M.H., Koh, E.K., Kwon, O.Y., Cynn, H.S., & Lee, W.H., (2011). A comparison in the muscle activity of the abductor hallucis and the medial longitudinal arch during toe curl and short foot exercise. Physical Therapy of Sport, 12(1), pp. 30-35.
Lynn, S.K., Padilla, R.A., & Tsang, K.K.W., (2012). Differences in static and dynamic balance task performance following four weeks of intrinsic foot muscle training: the short foot vs. the the towel curl exercise. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, [Epub ahead of print].
Dhugan, S.A., & Bhat, K.P., (2005). Biomechanics and analysis of running gait. Physical Medicine and Rehab Clinics of North America, 16, pp. 603-621.