Feet First: Clinical Pearl for the Feet #1

Updated: May 12

Adapted from my presentation material on the foot and ankle from Orthopedic Integration: Lower Extremity

I made a couple of good decisions during my time in PT school. I always thought the best decisions I made were: working as a care assistant to a lovely woman following her stroke, spending as many hours with my brilliant friends in the anatomy wet lab, and taking a rigorous weekend course at Biomechanical Services (a wonderful source for custom orthotics in Southern California).

During the weekend course at Biomechanical Services, I was able to cast fellow PTs feet, to create therapeutic exercise interventions based on individual foot assessments, and to even craft a simple orthotic device. To this day, I still prefer orthotics casted in non-weight bearing.

The course was one of the most complex courses I had taken (this was before I met Michael and Tim of Folsom PT), as the foot and ankle have so many articulations and moving parts.

I have always thoroughly enjoyed working with and problem solving around the foot and the ankle. I find it to be one of the least understood body parts. In adults, we often do little more than pay our feet the most superficial attention by getting pedicures. Our footwear can be destructive, even as it makes us look good.

Good foot and ankle function is an absolute necessity for healthful functioning of your knees, hips, pelvis and low back (and by extension, your neck, and shoulders) and requires diligent attention.

And so let us embark on a deeper dive into the amazing foot and ankle- developing a sense of awareness for what is required for healthy standing and walking, as well as some problem solving strategies and therapeutic exercises for helping you troubleshoot some common problems.

Each week we will explore one or two pearls to help guide your work with your feet.