Foot Splay / Eversion – Correct it or Leave it?

Posted In: Blog Discussion

  • Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #14876

    Foot splay…we’ve all seen it….it’s when the feet ‘splay’ out to the side. Otherwise known as duck feet or eversion for those of you who are anatomically minded. Many people see it as a major problem that should be fixed at all costs. Others don’t see the point. The question for me lies in whether this is in fact something that can be corrected. There’s no doubt that an everted foot sets

    Continue reading…

    ELITETRACK Founder

    Avatar
    Participant
    Daniel Andrews on #72604

    I don’t attempt to fix such problems as a goal. I hope they become corrected as much as possible through solid training. I typically see the problem get better, but only slightly in most cases. With overweight or slightly overweight athletes it seems to be more correctable as they tend to position their feet in such a manner to support their heavier mass. Other than crushing and remolding the bone as anatomically perfect, I don’t see a point in striving to correct how one is built. The biggest thing is you can change the degree of something by altering the lifestyle patterns which may exaggerate the problem.

    I know of several sites/people which insist on correcting this phenomenon through a couple strength exercise techniques and focus on biceps femoris muscles. They never showed what to do for pigeon toed, bow legged, or knocked kneed athletes though. Thus I was instantly skeptical as if you can solve the duck feet problem then you can solve the others as well.

    Avatar
    Participant
    coachformerlyknownas on #72605

    Try Glute Medius.

    GM stabilizes hip in single support. Lack of GM strength or in fatigued state, you get foot splay.

    Take a look / kinetic chain view of a sprinter from a force application and return efficiency view. There is a more so and a lesser efficient biomechanical expression. Foot splay on its own, then traced up the chain to the hip (see: Trendelenburg) is non optimal from a mechanical or force / vector view.

    When you observe Trendelenburg, you dont see the hips move in a positive manor (forward or vertical) as the discipline requires (sprinting, jumps) BIG issue in TJ – I almost wonder if there is some scoliosis that could be found in TJ guys more so in those that displayed foot splay in event?

    Then there are the many detrimental (performance & health) issues that arise from torque that results from splay…

    And so on, and so on…

    Dynamic stability is that magic moment in time where you get the Triple Crown (eccentric, concentric while positive velocity – H or V is continued) This requires the biomotors, specifically balance & proprioception with ancillary components. (ancillary is the CFKA Word of the Day)
    Balance deficit sets off a chain reaction (as in kinetic chain) manifesting at the weakest point in the chain. And that point is where you get your dynamic injury equal to or greater than the dynamics of the activity. Or perhaps more insidious, you get the dreaded repetitive(miss)use syndrome…

    We are almost outside of the window of opportunity, but this time of year begs for a “Functional Assessment” before loading them up. Gold star to Mort who earlier asked CFKA in this area. Give them a non-dynamic “once over” in key areas that require stability before building a house of cards in the weight room or on the track.

    Avatar
    Participant
    JeremyRichmond on #72608

    Try Glute Medius.

    GM stabilizes hip in single support. Lack of GM strength or in fatigued state, you get foot splay.

    Take a look / kinetic chain view of a sprinter from a force application and return efficiency view. There is a more so and a lesser efficient biomechanical expression. Foot splay on its own, then traced up the chain to the hip (see: Trendelenburg) is non optimal from a mechanical or force / vector view.

    When you observe Trendelenburg, you dont see the hips move in a positive manor (forward or vertical) as the discipline requires (sprinting, jumps) BIG issue in TJ – I almost wonder if there is some scoliosis that could be found in TJ guys more so in those that displayed foot splay in event?

    Then there are the many detrimental (performance & health) issues that arise from torque that results from splay…

    And so on, and so on…

    Dynamic stability is that magic moment in time where you get the Triple Crown (eccentric, concentric while positive velocity – H or V is continued) This requires the biomotors, specifically balance & proprioception with ancillary components. ([i]ancillary[/i] is the CFKA Word of the Day)
    Balance deficit sets off a chain reaction (as in kinetic chain) manifesting at the weakest point in the chain. And that point is where you get your dynamic injury equal to or greater than the dynamics of the activity. Or perhaps more insidious, you get the dreaded repetitive(miss)use syndrome…

    We are almost outside of the window of opportunity, but this time of year begs for a “Functional Assessment” before loading them up. Gold star to Mort who earlier asked CFKA in this area. Give them a non-dynamic “once over” in key areas that require stability before building a house of cards in the weight room or on the track.

    I thought we all had enough of talk about “dysfunction”?

    Agree with CFKA. Glute medius. But different cause.
    My take: try tight piriformis or quadratus femoris or obturator in abscence of. Roll out with foam roller or get a wise masseuse.
    Next move up to TVA or transversus abdominis. Lengthened TVA and related connective tissue could affect lordosis and sacrum for which piriformis attaches. Very hard to shorten though. Will take weeks of persistent shortening of muscle and connective tissue.

    Also make small changes. Any change affects bone torsion, meniscus etc. Would continue to maintain or reduce slightly the loading whilst undergoing these changes but you need the load to affect the bone and meniscus. As with scoliosis, yes it would be a factor but if both feet splayed I would probably not consider it to be a primary factor. As per dynamic stabilisation, would like to see some techniques because that makes perfect sense for athletes.

    Avatar
    Participant
    mortac8 on #72610

    I know of several sites/people which insist on correcting this phenomenon through a couple strength exercise techniques and focus on biceps femoris muscles. They never showed what to do for pigeon toed, bow legged, or knocked kneed athletes though. Thus I was instantly skeptical as if you can solve the duck feet problem then you can solve the others as well.

    Biceps femoris is a main factor in foot splay/external rotation about as often as Adenotrex is a main factor in dunking(https://elitetrack.com/blogs-details-4048/). Just because Louie Simmons says it doesn’t make it the cause.

    Also consider sartorius which when tight can cause the leg to suddenly rotate outward as soon as it lengthens to tension near BDC. If anyone knows a good sartorius mobilizer, let me know because that is a significant issue for me personally. I usually resort to trying to pull the muscle off my ASIS as hard as I can with my thumb which does the job but isn’t exactly easy and elegant.

    Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #72612

    Biceps femoris is a main factor in foot splay/external rotation about as often as Adenotrex is a main factor in dunking(https://elitetrack.com/blogs-details-4048/).

    So you’re trying to say that it’s the most important factor right?

    ELITETRACK Founder

    Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #72613

    Glute medius is the most common answer no doubt but I tend to think there’s typically a little more to it than that. Sure I’ve seen hypertonic glute medius with a big trigger point immediately cause some relief of the eversion but more often it seems you need to look at balance between several muscles.

    ELITETRACK Founder

    Avatar
    Participant
    Daniel Andrews on #72618

    [quote author="mortac8" date="1222108374"]
    Biceps femoris is a main factor in foot splay/external rotation about as often as Adenotrex is a main factor in dunking(https://elitetrack.com/blogs-details-4048/).

    So you’re trying to say that it’s the most important factor right?[/quote]

    I’m sold. :p

    But seriously, the common theme here is corrective action and somewhat in isolation. I think you have to look at a host of issues and one of them is actually doing a gait analysis. The foot splay present in two-legged support may not be the same in dynamic activity and could even differ between different dynamic activities. I think more harm can be done in terms of athletic performance this way. I definitely agree with Mike on balance being needed and I hope all of my training achieves this without specifically targeting a symptom.

    Therefore, I say “leave it”, but monitor it (videotape). I’ve seen foot eversion on ground contact get better throughout the season by just leaving it and have seen it get worse by some knuckle head therapist/orthopedic surgeon training protocol changes which focused on isolating and strengthening the thought to be weakness.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.