Stiff toes? this is usually a reflection of stiff hips. How your feet work reflects like a mirror how the upper body responds to the ground through what is known as the kinetic chain. The reflexes for the hips are around the ankles, so stiff ankles can also be a sign of less than mobile hips. These are a few of the fascinating finds you can look for on a client’s foot and hone in on where the upper body is compromised. Conversely, if you or your client have highly mobile toes and ankles, you will see mobile hips reflected above.
The kinetic chain is a concept stating joints, bones, muscles and ligaments in a weight-bearing system cannot be viewed in isolation. Here are a few more for the foot detective: Toes with shortened dorsal tendons, pulled up and back are a sign of weak hip flexors. And over-pronated medial arches (flat feet) are a sign of weaker lateral flexors of the hip. Don’t take my word for it, check it out on your clients.
Check both feet for left and right imbalances, then check your client’s range of motions in same side hip, more often than not you will see a correlation. Let me know what you find!