The Hidden Problem – The Big Toe
Whether you believe in a higher power or not, the Big Toe is a gift from whomever made us.
In the days when we had to hunt and gather our food, it enabled us to run quicker when required and it enabled us to balance over rough terrain and difficult ground. The big toe was the difference between life and death!! I suffered form a very difficult surgery and had to use the best women’s dress shoes to wear after foot surgery for months to recover safely.
In our current lives we are unfortunately not doing activities that require our life saving big toe. So our brains and bodies interact in different ways.
When we stand up it is easier to use our big toe all the time, than it is to use the muscles around our ankle.
This comes from our brain whose job it is to reduce the energy cost of moving and standing.
BUT we already don’t move enough. So unfortunately the brain patterns that want to reduce our energy cost are not necessary at the moment.
Here’s the general rule that will help the body not get injured:
If your standing on a flat stable floor DONT use your big toe.
If your standing on an unstable uneven floor you can use your big toe.
The next stage is the importance of STRENGTHENING your foot: this will make the cost of energy more, but it will begin the process of making us ready for difficult movement and to reduce the risk of injury. It’s really important to talk with a podiatrist if you think that something is wrong.
Next look at your foot.
Push the big toe into the floor. More than likely it will be the outside of your big toe that is on the floor.
We want the inside of the big toe ( nearest the second toe) to contact with the floor. See the above first image, here the outside of the big toe is being used, the second image is using the inside of the big toe, the strengthening effect this can have on the arch of the foot is visible.
As you hold this for 5 secs and into 10 secs the coordination of it will be tricky but the benefit of strengthening the foot in this way is vital.