Big Toe Alignment and Arch Support.

So simple, yet so overlooked.  I wish I had learned this before my feet had become weak, floppy paddles (read more about that here).  Sure there’s tibialis posterior, anterior, etc., + the myriad of intertwined soft tissues comprising your body’s tensegrity that have a role in controlling the arch too.  But the majority of work anchoring the supporting ends of the medial arch, the big toe and the heel bone, is performed by the Flexor Hallucis Longus and the Abductor Hallucis – these are literally the soft-tissue ground the two ends of the arch seek to stand on!  It’s also easy to understand why this information is so overlooked too: most of the feet we see, including in most anatomy curriculums, are deformed from a life of adapting to footwear that restrict and alter the feet’s natural posture!  It follows that current conventional medicine would be based around propping up a collapsed structure from beneath, rather than teaching a body’s owner operator to bring a tensegrity structure online.  There were almost no shoes that allowed proper structure!  This not-new awareness is newly taking hold through the rehabilitative healing work of pioneering medical professionals treating and curing many foot problems by restoring natural foot form and function.  Please explore our site and the blog archive, subscribe/connect and stay tuned!  We’ve got this fancy rebuilt website and lots more new content on the way.

Be well!

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  1. tomshiff on April 23, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    I get exactly what you are talking about. I have long term pain in the big toe joint for all the reasons you discussed. I live in Vancouver, BC. I am working with my Pilates instructor to strengthen the arch, wearing toe spacers, while doing heal raises, working on activating my hamstrings and gluteus to take pressure off my knee. But I still like running, and I am guessing I am preventing the problem from getting resolved because I am still wearing the same shoes – ASIC Kayanos that may have some of the problems you describe. They aren’t narrow in the toe box though. Any other suggestions as to resolve my issues?

    • Aaron Gustafson LMT, CAMT II on April 23, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      Hi Tom, Glad you are taking steps in the right direction! It sounds like you have multiple things you are working on, and of course I can’t provide specific advice without a thorough interview/assessment.

      As a general next step, do purchase some footwear that allows proper toe alignment such as Lems or Altra, and begin experimenting with runs in those – treating them as a strengthening workout – don’t do too much too soon. It is a process to train the nervous system and soft tissue to use the toe space and alignment you are working to allow and build.

      If you would like more specific advice, I suggest a skype consult. We can go over your history, discuss your knee, so on & so forth and come up with some suggestions to help you reach your goals.

      Click here for consult:

      Be well!