Assessing and Correcting Foot and Ankle Problems

Foot and ankle pain is a prevalent problem that fitness professionals encounter frequently when working with clients. This article illustrates the anatomy of the major structures of the foot and ankle, explains the most common musculoskeletal imbalances of these areas, teaches trainers how to assess a client’s feet and ankles, and provides four corrective exercise techniques that can be used to eliminate pain and improve function.

ABOUT THE FEET AND ANKLES
The feet and ankles are key parts of the body that act as shock absorbers when a person interacts with a contact surface such as the ground. They also help the body adapt to varied surfaces via side-to-side movement. Understanding the anatomy of these important body parts can help you know how to assess them for imbalances.

What is Bad Posture and How Do You Correct It?

Integrating successful corrective exercise strategies into client programs to alleviate their aches and pains is easy if you have a good understanding of posture. This article provides a brief explanation the most common postural imbalances and exercises you can use to correct them.

The downward pull of gravity places a tremendous amount of stress on your feet. If your feet are deconditioned (and most people’s are), they tend to flatten in response to this pressure (i.e., overpronate). When your foot overpronates, your ankle rotates inwardly over your foot toward the middle of your body. Your leg follows your ankle, causing both your lower and upper leg to rotate inward. These imbalances of the foot and leg cause the knee to shift inward also (i.e., medial knee displacement). Over time, these compensations can lead to excessive pressure on the knee and ankle joints, causing discomfort and dysfunction in these areas (see Image 1).

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