If Your Ankles Are Weak, Then Strengthen Your….Hips?

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A few years ago Steph Curry was having problems with his ankles. Now the All-Star NBA MVP is having an amazing season having missed only 1 game. The secret? A training and injury prevention program that focuses on his….hips. That’s right, his hips.

A great ESPN article came out today to highlight the success Steph has had with this training program. Even though the problem lies all the way down the chain at his ankles, the hip plays a major role in controlling position of the lower body joints. If there is weakness up higher in the chain, the lower joints end up taking more stress. By working on stability at the core, Steph and his trainers have given him a much more stable foundation to move, change direction, accelerate, decelerate, and juke other players out of their shoes.

This is another reason why a good physical therapist, athletic trainer, or doctor doesn’t just focus on the injured area. Remember, the injury is where the athlete broke down, but the cause could be elsewhere. We see that all the time at our clinic. Someone that has plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, knee tendinitis could have the root of their problem at the hips. So just massaging the injured area, applying ultrasound or ice, and exercising the painful body part will only produce temporary results.

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For truly successful outcomes, you need to treat the whole person. Look at Steph. He was good before and treating his ankles allowed him to play and be an All-Star. Treat the whole person, and he’s the NBA MVP and on the verge of an NBA Championship.

It’s Not Just The Glass Slipper That Needs To Fit

We all know the story of Cinderella and the glass slipper. It’s all about how the slipper fits. The same goes for running shoes as many of you gear up to start training again as the weather warms up. And I know the decisions to select the correct running shoe can be overwhelming with all the different shoemakers pushing their

Well I’m here to help you simplify that process, because I know how important a good pair of shoes can be. Pick the right one: You’ll be enjoying them for a long time, achieving your fitness goals, and avoiding serious injury. Pick the wrong one: You may as well pencil yourself in for an appointment with me sometime down the road.

Understanding Pronation

A lot of clinicians will tell you that pronation is bad. Well I’m here to tell you that it’s good. Overpronation is bad. Pronation is normal. It’s natural. And we should all do it. You see pronation is the process where our foot rolls from the outside of our heel to the ball of our foot when we walk. This is a very important part of our gait mechanics because it helps us absorb shock. If there is too little pronation people can develop stress fractures, cartilage damage, even arthritis because the shock is not dissipated. If there is too much pronation, people tend to develop overuse injures like plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and tendinitis.

What Type Of Foot Do I Have?

Selecting the right shoe begins with understanding the type of foot you have. Then you can accommodate your foot with the multitude of options available. Feet are usually separated into 3 basic types: low arch (overpronators), normal arch (normal pronators), and high arch (underpronators). You can determine this by looking at the imprint your foot makes on a dark colored towel when you step out of the shower.

Low Arch- No curve along the inside of your foot noted and imprint shows the whole foot. These people overpronate and will need a shoe to control the motion from going too far.

Normal Arch- A curve is noted along the inside of the foot. The band from the heel to the toe is a little less than half the width of the foot. These people just need a shoe to keep them doing what they are doing. The foot is functioning fine and we don’t need to mess with it.

High Arch- A large curve is noted in the inside of the foot. Very thin band from heel to toe. These people need lots of cushioning from their shoes because they underpronate. They don’t absorb shock, so they will need a shoe to do it for them.

What Type Of Shoe Do I Need?

Now you know what type of foot you have, so what type of shoe do you get? Well it’s easy enough because there are 3 shoe types to go along with the 3 foot types: motion-control, stability, and cushioned.

Motion-Control – These are shoes for the overpronators or low arch types. These shoes will help limit the overpronation, so they usually have a very thick arch and the sole of the shoe almost mirrors the foot.

Stability – These are shoes for the normal arch or neutral foot. They just keep your foot doing what it was meant to do. There is a semi-curve to the sole of the shoe, but the inside should not be built up too thick. If the arch is too rigid and stops your pronation (shock absorption), problems with arise.

Cushioned – These shoes are for the underpronators or high arch types. There is a curve to the sole of the shoe that may help with the heel to ball of the foot motion, but the most important thing with these shoes is that help with shock absorption. If your body is not absorbing shock, you will need a shoe to do the job.

By now you should have a good idea of what type of foot you are and what type of shoe you need. This will help narrow the field down some, but you will still have many options to choose from. In my next post- some shopping tips for you as you look for that perfect fit!