- Make sure you mobilise the joints of your feet. You can do this with chiropractic adjustments, rolling your feet on a golf ball or tennis ball, being in bare feet as much as possible, walking on smooth stones, using a balance beam etc.
- Stimulate the nerves under your feet with something like a Naboso mat or insoles, Shakti mat etc.
- Make sure your feet are in good alignment and pointing forward and not out to the side.
- Strengthen the muscles of the feet through appropriate exercises. Simple single leg balance training is an example of this.
- Make sure your hips and pelvis are working well. Poor hip and pelvic function can affect the feet.
When it comes to moving other parts of your body, I don’t think there is one best way. It is really a matter of just moving as many parts of the body each day as you can. This may be through stretching, yoga, gym work, mobility work, specific sports etc. I usually tell patients to just do what they enjoy. If you enjoy doing something you will more likely want to keep doing it.
The Naboso Mat and insoles
This is one of my favourite pieces in my home gym, it’s called a Naboso mat. I also have the corresponding insoles which I use in my shoes when possible.
Naboso, which is Czech for “Barefoot”, is a company that created a patent-pending sensory workout mat and insoles that are designed to stimulate the small nerves under the feet. I have been using the mat and the insoles for a while now and have really loved it.
Research has shown that using textured insoles can help improve gait post-stroke, can improve balance in people with MS and can improve balance in older people. From a performance point of view research has demonstrated that using textured insoles and surfaces can help with postural control, reduced injury risk and faster return to sport after an injury (to find out more, visit their site here).
The beam I got from The foot collective
I brought the cradles (pictured in the image above) through their website and sourced my own pipe. This is a great way of really challenging your balance system, but also mobilising the feet. I try to use it every day. The foot collective is a great source for information about the importance of good foot function. Check them out here