Tip #6 for Sore Feet - Buff Up Your Butt!
The list of tips for sore feet is not complete without mentioning the butt muscles. This group of muscles may be the laziest in the entire body. When the butt muscles become weak, the entire leg is affected, including the feet. Everything starts to turn inward. The thigh bone rotates inward causing “knock-knees.” The ankles turn inward to the point that the arch of the foot can become plastered to the ground. This misalignment of the leg leads to a chain reaction of chronic pain.
Anyone with back, hip, knee, ankle, or foot pain should remember to strengthen the butt muscles. The easiest and most practical way to improve strength in the buttocks is to stand on one leg. Go ahead and try it (if needed, hold onto a chair for safety). Your beltline should remain parallel to the ground and your body should remain upright. If that was difficult, try it again only this time focus on tightening the butt cheek on the same side you are standing on. Once the butt muscles engage, the leg becomes more stable and properly aligned.
After some practice, you should be able to stand on one leg without difficulty for one minute. You can even increase the level of challenge by standing on a couch cushion. This unstable platform challenges the butt muscles to perform at a higher level. Improving your ability to stand on one leg will ultimately give you better ability to walk because walking is really an act of standing on one leg or the other.
The butt muscles are often neglected even though they are critical for maintaining proper leg alignment. Why do these muscles become so lazy and weak? Well, you are sitting on them right now. Turn that butt on and you will have happier feet.
Christina Lasich, M.D., wrote about chronic pain and osteoarthritis for HealthCentral. She is physiatrist in Grass Valley, California. She specializes in pain management and spine rehabilitation.