Today I did a posture evaluation on a gentleman who came to see me because his knees hurt. Looking at his posture, I discovered that he hyper extends (extends beyond straight) both knees and rolls in on his feet, dropping his arches so his feet flatten. Sound familiar?
We are correcting this by getting him to soften his knees when standing so he isn’t ‘locking his knees backwards’ or hyper-extending them. We are building his core strength through the Pilates basics to stabilize his pelvis and give him the power to maintain an upright posture. We are also strengthening the arches of his feet.
Dropped arches can create various problems: lower back pain, knee pain, hip pain, and foot pain.
Here is a simple exercise to do to build up your arches:
Place a hand towel flat on the floor. Standing or sitting, grab one end of the towel with your toes and pull it up and under your foot using your toes and the arch of your foot. ‘Walk’ the whole towel under your foot, one ‘grab’ at a time. Then do the other foot. Then repeat both feet. Do this exercise 2x per day. It will greatly strengthen your feet!
Your body is designed to walk from heel to toe: heel first, then rolling slightly towards the outside, and then centered across the ball of your foot. Lastly, you push off with your toes driving the body forward as you repeat the same process on your other foot. When your arches are ‘dropped’ you roll to the inside of your foot putting stress on the knee joint. This is no bueno! Your knee is the ‘stabilizer’ between your ankle and hip. You want it to be able to do it’s job!
Through Pilates, you align your body and build the strength, flexibility and muscular balance to move efficiently and pain free.