Show Your Feet Some Love!
Your Feet are Amazing!
This Valentine's Day, we encourage you to give some attention and care to something that is stepped on all day long—literally. Your feet are an incredible part of your body, and as anyone who has experienced foot injuries will know, when your feet suffer, the rest of your body suffers.
So just how important are your feet? Here are a few foot facts to give some perspective:
- A human foot (with ankle) contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons & ligaments.
- The 52 bones in both of your feet make up 25% of all the bones in your body.
- The soles of your feet contain more sweat glands and sensory nerve endings per square centimeter than any other part of the body.
- The American Podiatric Medical Association states the average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, which adds up to approximately 115,000 miles in a lifetime—more than 4 times the circumference of the Earth.
- During an average day of walking, the total forces on your feet can total hundreds of tons, equivalent to a fully loaded cement truck.
- Foot ailments can become your first sign of more serious medical problems. Your feet mirror your general health, so conditions like arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders can show their initial symptoms in your feet.
- 3 out of 4 Americans will experience foot problems at some time in their lives.
- Women are 4 times more likely to have foot problems than men mostly due to footwear—a 2½" high heel can increase the load on the forefoot by 75%!
As you can see, foot injuries are a common problem, and sometimes they can become very serious when left untreated. Fortunately, there are simple actions you can take to keep your feet healthy and reduce your chances of getting hurt.
How to Care for Your Feet: Advice from Dr. Golden
We believe the best thing you can do for your feet is to go barefoot or wear shoes that let your feet move as if they were bare. The following stretches, presented by physical therapist Dr. Sanatan Golden, are intended to help prevent injuries such as plantar fasciitis, neuromas, top of the foot pain, stress fractures, and calf strain—especially when transitioning to minimalist or barefoot shoes. These exercises are very simple and can be done in a few minutes, and the only special equipment you need is a baseball or lacrosse ball (Dr. Golden found his at a dollar store):
The ballet stretch: 5+ minutes per day on each foot. Since most of us can kick off our shoes while sitting at our desks to increase time spent in natural foot position, it is very simple to then bring your foot under your chair, curl the toes under and try to flex the big knuckle on the toes as much as you can. You can do this while you are working or sitting, so it should take no extra time. There are two parts to this stretch: 1: pushing your ankle forward and getting a big stretch across the front of the foot and 2: dropping your heel back and stretching the toes more. It can be a bit uncomfortable at first and there may be some cramping in the arch early on, but fear not, you are undoing a lot of shoe damage and doing your body a great service.
The Big Spread: 5 minutes a day while sitting at work or home: Place your baseball just behind the balls of the feet, relax, and press down allowing the ball to arch up under the metatarsals, the long bones of the forefoot. This will stretch out the often-tight, top of the forefoot and allow a more supple foot to spread out and distribute weight.
Calf Ball Release: Sitting on the ground with legs outstretched, place the ball under the calf on one leg. Work your way up the calf playing ‘seek and destroy’ with the sore and tight spots you may have developed. You can place one leg on top of the other for more pressure. Once you find a trigger point, really try to relax into it until the discomfort decreases by more than 50% (15-90 seconds usually). Try to clear 2 or 3 on each leg in a sitting. Great to do before or after runs or just while listening to the radio or watching TV.
Thanks to Dr. Golden for providing us with these great videos! Please note that if you do experience foot pain in your daily life, it is always recommended to seek a medical professional for treatment.
Dr. Sanatan Golden practices physical therapy with Therapeutic Associates and is currently pursuing advanced manual therapy training through the North American Institute of Orthopedic Manual Therapy.
Dr. Golden has teamed up with Dr. Ray McClanahan to host Minimalist Mondays, free weekly clinics offering information behind the philosophy of barefoot/minimalist shoe running, as well as strategies and exercises for a safe, effective transition for individuals of all fitness levels. They meet every Monday in Portland, OR.
This post was posted in Foot Health
- ►September 2015 (1)
- ►August 2015 (5)
- ►July 2015 (5)
- Top 10 Balance Games for Kids... of All Ages!
- Time to Play! Elves Have Fun and Get Creative at Spring 2015 Playday
- Snazzy New Colors for Buttercups and Ballerines
- GIVEAWAY: Diapers, Blocks and Shoes... Oh My! Enter to Win Our New Baby Prize Package
- Soft Star Style Bulletin: Chukkas Are Coming!
- We're Staging a Flip-Flop Intervention!
- ►May 2015 (4)
- Work Hard, Play Harder…Run Hardest?
- Transitioning to Barefoot Health PLUS RunAmoc Giveaway!
- UFC Champion Carlos Condit Tries Soft Star Shoes
- Mom and Career Elf
- Earth Day Giveaway: Celebrate Your Favorite Planet with Sustainable Goodies!
- Every Day is Bike-to-Work Day
- Happy National Pet Day! Can You Guess Which Pets Belong to Our Elves?
- ►March 2015 (6)
- ►February 2015 (2)
- ►January 2015 (5)
- ►December 2014 (5)
- Introducing One of a Kind Shoes - Same Day Shipping with No Design-Your-Own Fees
- More Than Meets the Eye: Tim's Handmade Transformers Shoes
- Help Families in Need by Sharing What Makes you Thankful!
- Travel GIVEAWAY: Win a Free Pair of Rogue Shoes + a Travel Bag from RAGGEDedge Gear!
- Shopping Online? Finding Your Shoe Size Just Got Faster, Easier and More Accurate!
- 22-Year-Old Leather Moccasins Still Looking Good!
- Show Us Your BEST Soft Star Halloween Costume!
- Mindful Running Interview with Barefoot Guru Michael Sandler
- Show Your Team Colors! Tim's Special OSU Beaver Football Shoes
- Treatment and Removal of Plantar Warts - Kids' Foot Health
- Introducing SUPER SWATCHES for Local Soft Star Customers
- The History of Tassels—Fitting Tassels Now Available on the Soft Star Website
- Time for Our HALLOWEEN CONTEST: Win Handmade Shoes to Match Your Costume!
- BIG NEWS: Soft Star's New Website and New Shoe Visualizer
- "Boss of the Moss" Mick Dodge Wears Soft Star Shoes on National Geographic Series
- Need Spectacular Shoes for Fall? Introducing Autumn Moccasins!
- BATTLE FOR THE INTERNET: Help Small Businesses by Speaking Up for Net Neutrality
- ►August 2014 (3)
- ►July 2014 (4)
- ►June 2014 (3)
- ►May 2014 (5)
- ►April 2014 (3)
- ►March 2014 (3)
- ►February 2014 (3)
- ►January 2014 (2)
- ►December 2013 (6)
- Happy Thanksgiving! Holiday Shopping Tips and Ideas from the Elves
- GIVEAWAY! One-of-a-Kind Green Merry Mocs
- 2013 Holiday Shipping for Soft Star Shoes
- Tips for Choosing Minimalist Boots and Winter Shoes
- GIVEAWAY: Win a Free Pair of Very Unique Merry Mocs!
- We Have a Winner for Our Halloween Costume Contest!
- Help Us Pick a New Leather Color
- Shoe Artisans Share New Ideas at the Soft Star Workshop
- Heartfelt Obituary for Red Dash
- Monkeys and Elves Unite! Soft Star Teams Up with Luna Sandals
- Soft Star Halloween Costume Photo Contest… and a Secret from the Elves
- Knee Arthritis? Change Your Shoes for Prevention and Treatment
- We Have a Sweepstakes Winner! And More to Come...
- ►September 2013 (5)
- ►August 2013 (5)
- ►July 2013 (5)
- ►June 2013 (4)
- Should Trail Shoes Be Thicker Than Street Shoes? Maybe Not...
- Soft Star Survey: Receive a Free $5 Gift Card and a Chance to Win $100 Cash!
- Elves Getting Dirty! Soft Star Volunteers at SAGE Community Gardens
- First Sneak Peek at the New Soft Star Ballet Flat!
- Maker's Wild Documentary: Go Behind the Scenes at Soft Star Shoes
- Are High Heels Giving You Hammer Toes? Tips for Prevention and Treatment
- Intrigued by Barefoot Running? Start this Weekend with International Barefoot Running Day!
- Are Those Shoes Made of Wood?
- Wikler's Quest for Healthy Children's Feet
- Michael Sandler Visit and Workshop – Barefoot Walking Book Review and GIVEAWAY!
- Thinking of Boston
- How Fast Do Children's Feet Grow?
- Barefoot Pioneers: the People Who Taught Us "Barefoot is Best"
- Caballo Blanco's Legacy Lives On: Tom Norwood Returns from Copper Canyon
- Book Review: Overthinking the Marathon by Ray Charbonneau
- Reinventing the Hammer: OSU Students Bring Their Skills to Soft Star
- An Olympic Thank You! Help Missy Franklin Swim for MS
- The Mighty Arch, Part 2: Strengthen Your Arches to Treat and Prevent Foot Pain
- Running Green: Soft Star Shoes at the Portland Shamrock Run
- Winter Playday at the Soft Star Workshop
- The Mighty Arch, Part 1: A Natural Cure for Plantar Fasciitis?
- ►February 2013 (4)
- ►January 2013 (1)
- ►December 2012 (5)
- A Barefoot Running Book for Kids (Includes Free Lesson in Consumerism) + GIVEAWAY!
- Happy Thanksgiving! Turkey Shoes and Small Business
- Infographic: How to Choose Barefoot Shoes
- Rally 4 Jillie!
- Gifts for Her this Holiday Season - Fitting Tassels
- Sneak Peek at New Shoes for Women and Men - Vote for a Name!
- ►October 2012 (6)
- ►September 2012 (3)
- ►August 2012 (3)
- ►June 2012 (3)
- ►May 2012 (2)
- ►April 2012 (2)
- ►March 2012 (1)
- ►February 2012 (3)
- ►January 2012 (2)
- ►December 2011 (4)
- ►November 2011 (3)
- ►October 2011 (3)
- ►September 2011 (4)
- ►August 2011 (4)
- ►July 2011 (5)
- ►June 2011 (3)
- ►May 2011 (5)
- ►April 2011 (3)
- ►March 2011 (2)
- ►February 2011 (4)
- ►January 2011 (3)
- ►November 2010 (4)
- ►October 2010 (2)
- ►August 2010 (2)
- ►July 2010 (1)
- ►May 2010 (3)
- ►April 2010 (4)
- ►March 2010 (3)
- ►February 2010 (9)
- ►January 2010 (1)
- ►December 2009 (3)
- ►November 2009 (2)
- ►October 2009 (5)
- ►September 2009 (3)
- ►August 2009 (3)
- ►July 2009 (2)
- ►June 2009 (3)
- ►May 2009 (3)
- ►April 2009 (2)
- ►March 2009 (6)
- ►February 2009 (2)
- ►January 2009 (4)
- ►December 2008 (3)
- ►November 2008 (4)
- ►October 2008 (4)
- ►August 2008 (4)
- ►July 2008 (2)
- ►June 2008 (4)
- ►May 2008 (4)
- ►April 2008 (7)
- ►March 2008 (2)
- ►February 2008 (2)
- ►January 2008 (4)
- ►November 2007 (2)
- ►October 2007 (5)
- ►September 2007 (2)
- ►August 2007 (2)
- ►July 2007 (3)
- ►June 2007 (2)
- ►May 2007 (2)
- ►April 2007 (2)
- ►March 2007 (4)
- ►February 2007 (2)
- ►January 2007 (2)
- ►December 2006 (1)
- ►November 2006 (4)
- ►October 2006 (3)
- ►September 2006 (4)
- ►August 2006 (5)
- ►July 2006 (4)
- ►June 2006 (5)