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PODIATRIST SUPPORTS EXERCISES THAT HELP FOOT STRENGTH, BALANCE AND PROPRIOCEPTION

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Take a look around any gym and you’ll see people working to strengthen their biceps, hamstrings, shoulders, abs — pretty much anything but their feet. That, experts say, is a big mistake. Stephen Pribut, DPM, a Washington-area podiatrist who runs a sports medicine practice, says that people usually choose their footwear based on what is acceptable and expected — as opposed to what is most comfortable and best for foot health. “In addition, most jobs are rather sedentary, so having a chance to use our feet during the bulk of the day isn’t there,” he says. “I tell patients to wear something comfortable that doesn’t make them suffer.”

 

Dr. Stephen Pribut

 

Benjamin Morgan is a trail runner and obstacle course racer. Morgan uses a toe-spreading device developed by a podiatrist several years ago, which keep toes in a splayed position in an effort to improve foot alignment and stability, and spends time in minimalist shoes with little cushioning or support in his day-to-day routine. Dr. Pribut agrees that toe spreaders can be helpful for some patients, and he supports exercises that help foot strength, balance, and proprioception (awareness of the body and its movement). As to shoes, he points out that none are natural: “They are all compromises.”

 

Source: Amanda Loudin, The Washington Post [2/16/20]


Courtesy of Barry Block, editor of PM News


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