Each part of our body is designed for a purpose. Our legs to walk. Our eyes to see. Our thumbs to grab. And our toes to balance. But what you may not know is that one fourth of all the bones in the human body are down in your feet. These "two planks" bear the weight of our entire bodies. They receive a lot of stress and are often neglected. Imagine having a headache every day. You would probably seek medical attention for the pain. However, we are more apt to ignore symptoms of foot pain…we just “get over it.”

But as Socrates said:  “When our feet hurt, we hurt all over.”

Our feet are superbly designed between 10 toes, 52 bones (26 in each foot), 33 joints, 20 muscles, and hundreds of sensory receptors. ToeSox are superbly designed too. Not just to prevent you from sliding or to minimize wear and tear on a Megaformer machine or yoga mat.

Our toes, (each of them significant), separate to allow us to grip the ground, spring our bodies into motion, and help us stand still and straight. Toes are an important part of the push-off action humans use while walking, running, and climbing stairs.

Why is it that we take off our shoes right when we get home? Because it feels good. We cram our feet into shoes, forcing the toes together and making them act as a hoof. When the toes are drawn together, abductor muscles on the outer and inner foot can’t activate, and can atrophy due to lack of use.

If toes are stiff, the smoothness and efficiency of our gait will be affected, and other joints and muscles will have to compensate for the disturbance in the chain of actions. As these compensations continue, they may contribute to pain elsewhere in the body. Two-thirds of those with chronic foot pain say their foot issue has created some sort of disability elsewhere – decreasing balance, increasing soreness in the knees and hips, or preventing them from starting or maintaining a healthy exercise routine.

As often as you can, let your toes wiggle with their five toe natural movement. Wearing ToeSox not only supports the anatomical structure of the foot, but they provide gentle space between each toe which encourages the toes to spread, circulation to increase and muscles to engage. Strong feet result in enhanced agility, balance, posture, and overall body wellness.

Assess your foot health by following these simple steps for self-examination as recommended by American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS):

•Skin: Check your skin for calluses, blisters or areas of irritation. Now stand next to your shoes. Are they shaped like your feet or are they causing areas of constriction that may result in calluses, blisters or irritation? Now put your hand inside your shoe. Are there seams, tacks or rough places in the shoe that correspond to the areas of irritation, calluses or blisters on your feet?
•Circulation: Look at the color of your toes. Are they red, pink, purple or blue? Press down on the nail of your big toe until the color blanches. Now let go and allow the blood flow to return to your toe. The return of normal color should take 2-5 seconds in a person with average circulation.
•Flexibility: How flexible are your toes? Try to pick up a marble (excellent) or a small dishtowel (good). To test your ankle flexibility, hang your heel over the edge of a stair while standing on the stair facing the stair. Now let the heel go below the level of the stair. If this causes pain, stop the test. If your heel goes below the level of the stair without causing strain in your calf, that is excellent. If there is some strain, this can be improved with flexibility exercises.
•Sensation: Take a pencil eraser and lightly run it on the top, bottom and both sides of your feet. The sensation should feel equal in all quadrants. It may tickle on the bottom of the feet. That is normal.
•Pain: There should be no foot pain in the average foot. If there is, learn what is causing the foot pain.
•Balance: A good test for balance involves standing on one foot, with your arms out to the side and your eyes closed. If you are less than 30 years old, you should be able to balance for 15 seconds, 30-40 years old for 12 seconds, 40-50 years old for 10 seconds, and over 50 years old for 7 seconds. This can be improved with exercises.

 

For more information on ToeSox, please visit www.toesox.com
For more information The Studio MDR or to purchase a pair of ToeSox, visit www.thestudiomdr.com

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