Despite what the current May-cember weather situation would have us believe; summer is rapidly approaching. For many this means a welcome return to open toed shoes and more barefoot time. Finally your toes can breathe some fresh air and spread out a little after being constrained by ski boots, dress shoes and rain boots.
Have a look at your feet next time they’re not ensconced in a fashion-cast. Do your toes look like sausages crammed into a cellophane package? Or do they splay nicely when weight-bearing? Is your big toe confidently oriented in the direction of travel or is it looking to its neighbours for moral support? Let’s focus on the big toe in this post.
The big toe and its mobility demands play a crucial role in the support and function of the foot in forward propulsion. A big toe that is too stiff or that is not oriented in the direction of travel can create some mechanical issues for us – much in the same way our cars’ wheel alignment is important for reducing wear and tear or poor driving characteristics. Often in practice, we see the big toe deviating towards the other toes causing an increased likelihood of pronation and further biomechanical faults up the chain into the knee, hip, and back. While human bodies are wonderfully capable of finding strategies to compensate for these mechanical inefficiencies, why not get off on the right foot and make sure the big toe and associated tissues are set up for success?
Some ways you can make inroads on your big toe mobility and foot health are demonstrated in these videos:
This is not a comprehensive list, but it’s enough to get started on getting your foot to toe the line a little more effectively.
Christopher Curran, RMT