Stand on Your Own Two Feet
Have you ever played the game, Jenga? If you have, you know that the object of the game is to balance the tower of blocks as things move and shift. If the base of the tower remains solid and no blocks are removed from the bottom, then the tower can remain stable for a while before they all tumble down.
The same holds true for our bodies. To remain in balance, the structure of our body relies on our feet as the base of which all our “blocks” stack up.
The feet are the source from which our body moves and stays balanced to run, walk, and stand in place.
An abnormal stance, for example, can compromise your balance and make you more vulnerable to falling and distorted posture. That in turn can cause degenerative changes in the ankles, knees and hips.
If you have the misfortune of having flat arches, that can change the where the foot strikes, causing more impact in the joints of the legs and lower back.
The main function of the toes is to provide balance, support, and transfer weight during walking by thrusting the body forward during ambulation. They help to increase your stride and allow you to run or walk faster. In addition, there are 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments that form each foot that all must work together to maintain balance.
If there is pain from a fracture or arthritis in the joint, the foot must compensate for the injury. This can translate into pain or stiffness further up the body. The more impact from the environment that your feet can absorb, the less work the rest of the body must do and less wear and tear on the joints above the feet.
5 Ways to Find Better Balance
- See a neurologist or orthopedic doctor if you have nerve sensations or pain to rule out more serious conditions.
- See a personal trainer or physical therapist to get exercises specific to correcting imbalances in the feet and legs.
- Get fitted at a professional shoe store for correct fitting shoes and inserts for proper support.
- See a massage therapist to work specifically on individual muscles of the feet, stretch and do range of motion to eliminate adhesions and restrictions of the many muscles and tendons.
- Use massage tools like foot rollers, balls, and stretch bands to maintain healthy foot structure between visits and soak feet regularly in a magnesium bath to help with soreness.
To keep the “blocks” of your body stacked and stable, you must pay attention to what supports the main structure. Be the winner of your “Jenga” by paying attention to the base – your feet – to ensure that your “blocks” won’t topple over.