When the Painful Foot Hits the Ground….How PILATES Can Be the Key to Painfree Walking Again!
Did you know that 75% of the population will experience some sort of foot pain or ailment sometime in his/her life?
Did you know that women are 4x MORE likely to experience foot pain compared to their male counterparts?….Could those cute high heels be the culprit ?!?
Are you one of those people who believes that foot pain is just a common, natural occurrence in the aging process?
What if I told you that foot pain does not have to be a part of your daily life?
When we are young, our bodies move and function efficiently and pain free. As we age, our body begins to reveal all the ways we have beaten it up over the years and the feet are a common site of pain and dysfunction.
Common Causes of Foot Pain:
- The number one cause of foot pain is weakness in the muscles of the foot, ankle, knee and hip. How many of us have at one time or another been told we need orthotics or arch supports? How many of us spend $100-200 on the BEST supportive shoes on the market…what if all that “support” was actually making our foot weaker and leading to pain?
- Poor fitting or uncomfortable shoes….whether you love your flip flops, cute high heels or can’t seem to part with those tennis shoes you have had since the 1970s….it may be your chosen footwear that may be leading down the road of constant pain.
- Standing on the outside or inside of your foot when you are standing for an extended period of time….When you are standing to wait in line at the grocery or to talk to someone for an extended period of time, do you stand on one leg more than the other, do you lock out your knees or sink into your hip? How you stand and how your walk can effect the stress your feet may be feeling.
Four Steps to Identify the Problem and Correct it:
- Identify the problem
- Figure out what makes it worse
- Learn what you need to do to fix it…create a game plan
- Understand why making those changes to fix it are important and stick with your plan.
How Pilates Can Help:
Pilates can be one of the greatest ACTIVE ways to alleviate foot pain by getting down to the source of it.
- First of all, Pilates is a full-body workout…it focuses on how you sit, stand, walk, move. It is critical to reeducate yourself HOW to stand, sit and move every single day. This re education is what can correct the core reason for your pain.
- Many of the mat Pilates exercises are performed in a non-weight
bearing position (lying on your back, side or stomach), all of the exercises
require you to point and/or flex the foot actively, thereby strengthening the foot
and ankle. This non-weightbearing way of exercising can help especially if you seem to have pain when you do anything weight bearing (walking or standing).
- If you have the opportunity to add Reformer Pilates to your routine, do it! The whole Footwork series really works on strength, flexibility, proprioception and proper alignment of the entire foot, ankle, knee and hip.
- Pilates is done barefoot, thereby forcing the feet to work without support. This can help you restrengthen the muscles that have become weak.
When to call in the specialists:
It is important to remember that at different times it is time to call in the “big guns”.
- When you are having numbness/tingling or persistent swelling in the feet…consult your physician to make sure something more sinister is not going on.
- If your pain level continues at a high level 3-4 weeks after working consistently on your game plan.
- If you have any kind of color changes or discharge from the foot or nails.
- If you have Diabetes, always consult a physician when foot pain occurs.
Finally, don’t feel defeated if you have foot pain. You do not have to live with it. Make a plan now and get back to walking painfree again!
Pilates Studio in Sunbury, Ohio
Contact ABS Pilates of Sunbury, Ohio and Columbus, Ohio. All Pilates classes and sessions are lead by Amanda B. Smith, licensed physical therapist, certified Pilates instructor and certified group exercise instructor with more than 25 years of experience. She can help you on your way toward walking taller and with less pain.