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Monday, October 31, 2011

Top 100 Biomechanics Guideline #51: Shoe Modifications may be Necessary to Increase Flexibility

This diagram demonstrates the normal foot motion I observe in gait as the foot moves. This post emphasizes the SMOOTH TRANSITION FROM HEEL TO TOE  vs  Sagittal Plane Blockade which can cause many problems.
Cuts are made into the midsole of the shoe in the ball of the foot area  (metatarsals)  to help patients move easily through their shoes. The cuts are normally 1/4 inch apart, normally 5 in number, and do not go all the way through the bottom of the shoe, and do not go all the way to the medial or lateral sides of the shoe.

There are many painful situations that require wonderful, thick, padding in the front of the shoe, and great flexibility as well. Most shoes that have a lot of forefoot padding can cause some reduction in the ability of the patient to move freely and comfortably through their foot from heel contact to push off. When this heel to front motion is blocked, even slightly, stress can be taken up in the knees, hips, and low back. We thick just flexing the ball of the foot a couple of times will do the trick. But, the EVA material commonly used for the midsole tends to stiffen up only minutes after you stop wearing them. 

Biomechanics experts have coined the term "Sagittal Plane Blockade" to reflect this blockage of motion from heel to toe. Remember my earlier post on the components of foot motion that should normally be there as you walk or run. Your foot motion should be smooth, non-jerky, centered at push off between the 2nd and 3rd toes, or the 2nd and 1st toes. 

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.