This week’s post is bit of a new experiment, as I’ll be reviewing a book for you. I read a lot to improve my knowledge of the body and how to best address musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction, and some books are just so wonderfully crafted that I want to recommend anyone read them. This one is one of them: Katy Bowman’s Simple Steps to Foot Pain Relief.
This book has it all: it presents the basic anatomy and function of the foot, as well as how the way we’re using them related to their structure, and how that may cause issues in foot function and comfort. It is all presented in a very accessible way, and with actionable advice for anyone with an interest in foot health, from an office worker who can’t wait to remove their shoes at the end of the day, to an enthusiastic hiker who wants to make sure they can still climb Mount Snowden at age 85.
Katy Bowman is a biomechanist who’s been writing about the influence of a person’s mechanical environment (how they move, how much, in what physical environment…) for years in books and on her blog and podcast. She knows how to present the right amount of information to make her point clear, without overwhelming someone whose interest in studying the body and its health would be quite new.
In this book, you will learn about
- the most important anatomical features of the human foot, and how they relate to the leg and the rest of the body;
- how movement – or lack thereof – of the foot influences the whole body, and can impact conditions such as back pain, knee pain, bad posture, and a plethora of painful foot issues;
- the basic “anatomy” of shoes and how they relate to the feet and their health;
- how some footwear forces the foot into unhelpful positions or habits;
- what features to look for in your choice of footwear to reduce the likelihood of developing pain in the foot, bunions, and other conditions;
- some corrective exercises for your feet to counteract unhelpful habits that you might have, or the effect of footwear;
all presented in Katy’s succinct, clear and easily understood style.
And don’t worry, Katy is not an extremist, and will not dictate you throw away all your shoes. She offers a nuanced approach acknowledging the demands of modern life, and all the exercises she presents can be done pretty much anywhere, anytime, and if not she offers a variation that can.
Overall, I absolutely loved that book, and strongly recommend it to anyone with an interest in musculoskeletal health in general, and obviously to any dancer, runner, martial artist, hiker, or general foot enthusiast.
Now go read this book, and share this blog with your friends! And consider joining the mailing list for more health inspiration!
Want more like this?Check out the following blogs from massage therapists I know from around London:
- On The Run Health and Fitness on running, nutrition and sports massage.
- The Soma Room on sports massage and exercise.