Never Forgetting About The Feet
Feet are an integral part of how we are upright and walk in addition to Myofascial Release which treats the whole body. In Myofascial Release, the Barnes approach, the main and primary focal point and base of correction is the pelvis. If the pelvis is not balanced and leveled then the top and bottom aspects of the body will not hold the corrections and releases achieved with myofascial release. When the pelvis is out of alignment and one leg might present longer than the other leg or shorter than the other leg it will tend to compensates by rotating anteriorly. It then causes the body to begin to weight bear onto the foot and to be displaced improperly forward onto the ball of the foot or the outer aspect of the foot. Then in most cases the calf of that leg tends to cramp and spasm. This is where the body begins to shift, torque, twist, bend, turn and rotate further into dysfunction and sends the pain signal(s) far away from the “cause”, far from the “source” of the problem or dysfunction.
When a skilled John Barnes Myofascial Release Therapist begins to read, assess, find and release various areas of restriction that are presented in the body and bring the pelvis back into a balanced position, physical therapy and neuromuscular retraining/reprogramming are also initiated when treated by MFR therapist with a background in Physical Therapy. As the newly balanced pelvis begins to relearn correct muscle holding patterns and positions BUT what about the feet? Though the feet just might be back in a level position and in alignment with each other anatomically, what about the position of the toes verses the ankles? The feet are compromised of the ankle joint, the heel, the mid foot, forefoot and toes. The ankle joint is one main point of reference to check when assessing for the position of the pelvis but what about the rest of the foot? When the pelvis is shifted up and forward it created tension, tightness and restrictions within the muscles which control the ankles ability to flex and extend. This is the necessary direction of motion the foot need during gait/ambulation. The front muscles which are on the front of the lower leg below the knee, pull the toes/forefoot upward toward the ceiling or sky which allows them to clear the floor/ The heel of the foot can then come into contact with the ground firsthich is known as heel strike. When the opposite occurs this is where one would stub their toes, trip and/or fall. Some even have to wear special orthotics to assist to keep the toes and forefoot in the up position. The posterior muscles or the back of the lower leg also know as the calf or gastrocsoleous, provides the ability to elevate the body by lifting and propelling it forward or gives the ability to jump off the ground. This is the strongest muscle in the human body as one muscle on either side lifts and moves the entire weight of the body. This muscle is stronger, bigger and more powerful than the muscle that resides on the front side of the lower leg. The gastrocsoleus also becomes the tightest and most restrictive. Also the front/anterior muscles of the ankle/foot are so much smaller but are also the ones most often affected when there is loss or impairment of the neuruomuscluar aspect of the lower leg and creates the inability to raise the toes/forefoot during walking, also know as drop foot.
So when there is any type of imbalance, impingement, deficit etc. the feet tend to lose their ability to dorsiflex, lifting the toes upwards towards the sky to clear the floor for proper unassisted gait and balance. Since myofascial release, Barnes method, treats the whole body, the therapist would never stop at just leveling the pelvis. They level and release the whole body as needed. A John Barnes trained therapist would then move to the areas that needed released and would seek to read the body for any further restrictions in the feet and ankles that would prevent normal dorsiflexion/plantar flexion, heel/toe gait. Additional areas would then be released if needed to allow safe, balanced gait to occur.
Do you have trouble with pain in your feet? Do you have trouble tripping over your feet or other objects? Do you stub your toe? Do you loose your balance? Do you have frequent falls? Do you feel like you are shuffling? Do you get tired with walking even a short distance? Do your shoes, no matter of the style or type make your feet hurt and walking difficult? Maybe it is more than just your feet that is in need of seeking treatment from a Myofascial Release Therapist like myself at https://www.mfroftampabay.com/. Why not try myofascial release and not just any type of myofascial release, the only type, the John Barnes Myofascial Release Approach.