Fix Foot and Lower Leg Pain

FULL POST: http://www.synergy-athletics.com/effective-strength-training/lower-leg-and-foot-pain-fix/

Foot and lower leg pain / discomfort fixes are few and far between.

However 80% of people will suffer foot pain at some point in their life (1).

On top of that, Yahoo Finance states that the shoe industry generates 57 BILLION dollars in sales as of 2010.

There are shoes shaped like feet, flex shoes, shoes for every sport, shoes to strength your calves, glute shaping shoes and many more…

foot shoe 300×220 Lower Leg and Foot Pain Fix

Move over Vibram Five Fingers!

So shoes are an obvious approach to fixing lower body discomfort, so my question to you is:
What else do you do other than buy shoes?

Very few people do anything more for their feet and lower legs other than pay attention to footwear. Fortunately I have a few EASY solutions for you!

First, let’s take a look at the foot:
Foot Anatamy

The foot is made up of:

foot anatomy intro01 300×225 Lower Leg and Foot Pain Fix

20 Muscles, most on the bottom of the foot (plantar surface)
Ligaments and tendons
26 Bones and 30+ Joints
Nerves
Blood Vessels

But the foot doesn’t sit alone. The actions of the foot are also largely dictated by the muscles in the lower leg. To see what I mean flex your toes and foot up towards your shin. You should feel the muscles down the top of the foot AND lower leg tense.

In this image, notice the muscles coming down the leg and connecting to the foot, as well as the muscles in the foot(1):

foot anatomy muscles01 298×300 Lower Leg and Foot Pain Fix
Purpose of The Foot

Even though we rarely train or strengthen the feet, they play a few crucial roles(2):

Shock absorber
Supports weight while standing
Serves as a lever to propel the leg
Helps maintain balance by adjusting to uneven surfaces

Neglect vs Active Weakening

As the Synergy readers know, I try to make things as straight forward as possible. Basically, there are a lot of muscles, tendons, and joints in the foot that are neglected.

no strings attached Lower Leg and Foot Pain Fix

Actually I shouldn’t even say neglected — most people actively WEAKEN these muscles by encasing their feet in still shoes and by over using braces after an injury has healed.
Tip #1 — Let Them Breathe!

My first tip, and many people have already embraced, is to get out of your shoes as much as possible. When you are home, just let your feet breathe!

We regularly perform our lower body warm ups without shoes on to strength the muscles of the feet and increase proprioception. This adds NO TIME to your workouts, but you will see the benefits.

Of course there is one side effect….if your feet are as sexy as mine, you might attract an “interesting” crowd:

feet rule Lower Leg and Foot Pain Fix

I can’t blame the guy, after all, I do follow the next tip:
Tip #2 Do Your Curls!

No, not the ones you look in the mirror and hope fill up your sleeve. I’m talking about taking 2 minutes 1 time a week to activate the muscles in your feet/lower leg by performing toe curls on a towel or article of clothing.

I’m a realist — the feet should not put a dent in your gym time with all the other major muscle groups to worry about. This is something quick you can do at home to get your feet moving just one time a week. This once a week exercise will go along way to prevent foot and lower leg pain.
Tip #3 Fooreeee!

The small muscles in the foot require a smaller object for some quality post workout self massage. My recommendation is a golf ball.

golf pants 1 Lower Leg and Foot Pain Fix

Crazy pants are optional…(and not recommended)

Self massage can be performed by standing on the ball and rolling out the plantar side of the foot as well as manually massaging the calve and achillies area with the ball. Finally, put the golf ball on a sweatshirt and perform gentle marching for 30-60 seconds.
Improve Foot and Lower Leg Health

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