I will tell you a little story about Zee Footpad. You will like it. It’s about your foot, both of them.
Zee Footpad is the tootsie of the foot — the soft part that makes contact with the ground. It’s not a device that you install in your shoe.
It’s next to “the ball of your foot” (big toe joint) under the weight-bearing arch of the foot, which consists of the big toe and the two neighboring toes, which together form a heel-to-toes arch. It’s a soft cushion for bearing weight on that arch.
Soft is important. We like soft.
But more importantly, Nature likes soft.
A nice, soft pad makes it pleasant to tread upon the earth. It’s good for the physiology, good for the psychology.
Some of us have hard, bony feet that hurt as we tread upon the earth, feet that meet the ground on-edge (literally — turned so that weight goes through the inner or outer edges more than through the proper weight-bearning center), feet that are stiff, but painful. These so-called, “tender tootsies”, so misnamed, are tough tootsies. Yes. Tough, but sore.
Tough tootsies would feel much more comfortable if they rested on zee footpad and were otherwise less hard on themselves.
But there is more riding on the foot than just the foot, yes there is. Because what affects the foot (both of them) affects everything else above the foot (both of them), balancing like a Toppling Towers Act, namely, you.
Because Zee Footpad is so important, our internal balancing system reads how weight is passing through Zee Footpad and adjusts everything, accordingly. The Toppling Towers Act goes higgledy-piggledy and looks like bad posture — the slumping stooper, the short leg leaner, the slovenly slob, the awkward walker, the clumsy lumberer. You get the picturer.
An “ooch” factor may cause us to shift weight off Zee Footpad — and that is unfortunate, when it happens, because it leads to the postural changes mistakenly thought to result from “aging” and to feet that ache. And ache.
We are so sensitive to Zee Footpad that putting too much weight on it, or off-center weight, changes the shape of our spine. Most of our weight (about 61.8%) is over our heel, about 33% through Zee Footpad, and the rest goes through our outer arch (outer 2 toes). A weight distribution other than that makes us unstable, off balance, and slow. You can see it in the wear pattern of your shoes.
Wanna know? Try it yourself. Stand up and come to steady balance, or the steadiest balance you can. Now, sway forward over your feet. Notice that your back-curve deepens. They call that, “swayback” (not to be confused with zweiback, which is a Swiss cracker). Sway your hips around in circles. Feel how your spine changes shape. Get it?
Zee footpad is situated right in the center of the main weightbearing arch of the foot. When we stand with our weight through it and our heel (33% / 61.8%), the rest of us likes it. We tend to straighten up, which means we come out of excessive curves, while maintaining flexibility.
Tight hamstrings often cause a twist of the lower leg at the knee, which, in turn, changes the position of the foot and how weight goes through the foot.
Tight lower leg muscles cause the foot to rock to the inner or outer edge, putting us on edge.
Tight back muscles cause our weight to sway forward over the fronts of the feet, making them tired, sore and tired.
Tight abs also cause our weight to sway forward.
Tight side muscles or uneven hips cause our weight to sway to the side, making us turn our foot out to provide a wider base of support, so that when we walk, too much force goes through our big-toe-joint, leading to bunions. Yes, bunions. They’re from how you walk.
So orthotics are not the answer to foot problems. They may “bring the ground up to the foot” in exotic, odd ways, as if you’re walking on a hill, but they don’t correct the problem or direct weight properly through Zee Footpad.
Here’s a little exercise that can correct some foot problems. Use it to straighten your feet and to direct weight through Zee Footpad.
Here’s a little pair of exercises to free your hamstrings. You may know something about hamstrings — and there’s something more. Free hamstrings preserve your knees. Read the article.
Finally, to correct sway back, you may do this program (there’s a “preview” link on that page). If you don’t correct swayback, the front of your feet have too much burden, and your feet get tired — and there’s nothing you can do to your feet that corrects the problem. Correct your swayback.
Other exercises are needed to correct the tightness variations named above. You’ll need to ask to find out which one(s). (Click “ask”.)
Don’t just sit there. Step on it.