(This blog is aimed at parents and players rather than coaches, physics or medical team members)
Coach: Do you see the things at the end of your legs?
Coach: They are called feet. Now feet are a wonderful invention. If you move them, they bring you places.
Feet really are a wonderful invention. The foot and ankle are made up of 26 bones and 33 joints. Lest we forget that we have two feet meaning that a quarter of all the bones in your body are in your feet. That is a lot of joints and even more muscles are required to move all those bones.
Quick question: How much time do you spend moving those bones in your feet?
I think they should be some bit as dexterous as your hands. Imagine if you squashed your hands into solid rubber mittens. Try wiggling your fingers in that set up!
If you find it hard to move your hands in that situation, just think what it is like for your feet.
Common foot issues we see in clinic are Plantar Fasciitis, Hallux Valgus (bunions), Hammer toe, heel pain and an array of ankle problems ranging from simple sprains to fractures.
A lot of these issues are somewhat straight forward to rectify and perhaps even prevent. Improvements in movement are a big help. If all those bones, joints and muscles moved a little easier then I would suggest there would be less of the aforementioned conditions.
So here is what you can do to improve: Make friends with your feet!
This can range from just moving your toes to trying to pick up objects with your feet. You might even try holding hands with your feet!
Any improved movement of the foot will allow for improved gripping strength and therefore a greater feel for the surface on which you stand on.
If your symptoms do not improve with some of these exercises please consult your local chartered physiotherapist for a full exam and a complete treatment plan.