Muscles of the feet have a significant role in supporting the arches of the foot, as discovered in a recent study from the University of Queensland. The study claimed that this would have positive connotations for treatment of foot issues relating to the arch of the foot.
Ligaments were generally considered to be the main structures that supported the arch of the foot. Ligaments have a small level of elastic recoil which would allow movement through the arch of the foot to be returned to its original state after being stretched, as occurs with walking, running and other activities. Ligaments are therefore similar to rubber bands that return to their original length after being stretched. As with rubber bands, if ligaments are stretched too much and too often they can lose some of their elastic recoil.
Muscles can also be lengthened and return to their original length. Muscles however, unlike ligaments, can also be trained and strengthened to give greater support if they start to become lax. The study found that activation of the muscles of the foot raised the arch of the foot.
What does this mean for foot problems?
A lot of foot problems, including plantar fasciitis, bunions, and ankle pain, can be caused by a lack of support through the arch of the foot. In the past the best treatment option for supporting the arch was orthotics. This study has helped to prove that manual therapy and exercises can help to give relief to these conditions.
Therefore if you have any of the above conditions or any foot pain or problems, manual therapy and exercises may be the solution for you.
If you would like more information about how Osteopathy can help your feet issues or would like to make an appointment with Lachlan, call Village Health clinic Tel: 9452 2202 or book online: www.osteopathyspecialist.com.au