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Exercises to Eliminate Foot Pain and Improve Gait Efficiency

This one is for those dealing with foot pain, calf pain, Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, or maybe your running/sprint form needs a ground-up makeover. Whether it’s pain or performance issues residing in the lower body, if the foot isn’t working properly, the hip can’t do its job properly.

Most people get too nervous about pronation of the foot and internal rotation of leg and hip, as if these are bad things. Reality is when it comes to gait, extension -internal rotation-pronation are paired together. What do athletes and runners covet? Powerful and efficient triple extension as this is our gas pedal for propelling us over ground. But guess what, if you lack adequate pronation and internal rotation of the foot/leg/hip, you’re not going to get much in regards to extension. This is especially true of those with high arches of the feet or hip dysplasia. Often you’ll see these conditions together.

Enter the exercise progression in the video series. We need to re-educate the foot-Achilles-calf complex to work as a system.

1️⃣The focus in adequate pronation as this properly loads the plantar fascia and locks the foot for efficient load transfer. This will help to properly mobilize the foot. Likely they also need good manual therapy to restore normal mechanics.

2️⃣Then the focus goes to proper loading of the foot through the big toe for extension. This is critical because if you can’t access the big toe, you can’t fully access hip extension and the glute musculature. These athletes will short their gait and force inefficient compensations as they are over-reliant on their feet.

3️⃣ideal torso alignment and abdominal pressurization is reinforced. If patients or athletes aren’t able to perform these simple exercises with efficiency, they likely have spinal/pelvic stability issues that need addressed first.

Thank you Michal Truc for these golden bullets from the DNS course in Sweden as these same principles apply to the skating stride for efficient mechanics.

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