ROLL WITH THE PROS: LOW BACK
Dr. Chris Scott
Published February, 2021 at 5:00pm AST.
Let me ask you this, you just had a long day at work, you walk through the door and what is the first thing you do? Most of all would say kick off your shoes and put your feet up. The reason for this is because your feet probably feel sore and achy from being compressed all day in whatever shoes you chose to wear. Your foot is not actually meant to be constricted and every time you place your foot in that shoe, it begins to conform to the shape of that toe box. This is why when we look at our toes, they're often close together, sometimes overlapping or not pointing straight at all. They lack the independence like the fingers of our hands have. The reason why this becomes problematic is based on the fact that your foot is what roots you to the ground and therefore you want it to be spread out and stable as possible.
Think about your foot as the root to your body or your tree, It is a major and extremely undervalued player in your body's functional movement. When is the last time you spent stretching your foot? When have you ever completed exercise for your feet at the gym? Probably never, which is wild to think as it is the foundation that our body sits upon that would be like the Egyptians not working on, or giving attention to the base of their pyramids. If what roots you into the ground is sloppy and not functioning properly, you're setting yourself up for failure as we go up the kinetic chain. Imagine you're about to take a family photo for the annual Christmas card and you're setting up the camera in front of the house, as everyone gets their best smile on you forget to extend the legs of the tripod, leaving it resting on a single tip point and it promptly falls to the ground. Once you realize your mistake, you then splay the legs of the Tripod, stabilizing it and therefore allowing you to take the picture. This concept is no different than that of your foot. However, your tripod is the ball of your foot, ball of the pinky toe and your heel. The goal is to try and widen your surface area as much as possible. Therefore, elongating your basic support. How we do this is by a combination of freeing up the foot with a Vertiball and then cementing that length change with stretching.
To begin, place the Vertiball on the ground, then either seated or standing place your foot on top of the Vertiball. Roll on the entirety of the bottom surface of your foot for 3 to 5 minutes.
Next, while sitting take your fingers and lace them between your toes, helping space them out. This could be done three times for 30 seconds or for better results use toe spacers as shown. The combination of this will allow you to move around more functionally and pain free.