The feet are the body’s foundation. We cannot keep our body in balance without stable, dynamic and strong feet. Instability puts a strain on our musculoskeletal system, which leads to a wide range of problems. Common consequences include muscle tension in the back, vertebral blockage and pain in the hips, knees and feet.
What causes week feet?
The strength of the feet depends on both the quality and quantity of movement. We live in a ‘sitting society’, which leads to deficiencies in our muscles. Walking on hard surfaces or in hard shoes with heels can change our natural gait, making us rely more on our hips than on our feet.
Connection between week feet and gait patterns
A natural gait relies on many different muscles, but it predominantly relies on feet and hip muscles. A person’s gait is most upright and natural when his or her feet and hips move in perfect unison. Flat surfaces and heeled shoes restrict the movement of the feet and force the hips to protrude forwards, which strains the hips, pelvis, back and knees.
Consequences of weak feet
A gait pattern that relies too heavily on the hips makes the upper body bend forward, which in turn shortens the hip flexor muscles, strains the front of the feet (which also causes imbalance) and bends the lumbar spine in an unnatural way. The foot’s natural functions – joint mobility, strength and sensory ability – go unused and the feet become passive.
Changing your gait pattern by strengthening your feet
Since most problems related to the musculoskeletal system are caused by weak feet, the treatment of such problems must begin with the feet. Everyone would benefit from changing their gait pattern in such a way as to primarily use their feet rather than their hips. This is the only way to treat the underlying causes of musculoskeletal problems. The aim is to reactivate the foot muscles and reduce the load on the hips.