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  1. #1
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    Short foot exercise . Which muscles are involved ?

    The short foot exercise has recently gained a lot of traction with physiotherapists and podiatrists for improving foot function , particularity among flat footed patients .

    The exercise , as prescribed by Janda , involves pulling the metatarsal heads towards the heel to produce a raised arch . During this maneuver ,the toes are kept relaxed and the present belief is that this exercise targets the intrinsic muscles of the foot making them stronger and improving many measures of foot function .

    My belief is that the muscles being targeted by Janda's version of the short foot exercise can't be the plantar intrinsics if the toes are not being plantarflexed and that instead it is the tibialis posterior ,tibialis anterior and the peroneal muscles that are being exercised . In closed chain these muscles are known to both dorsilflex the more proximal part of foot and plantarflex the distal aspect .

    Am I correct ?

    Gerry
    Last edited by Gerrard Farrell; 06-07-2019 at 03:59 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Short foot exercise . Which muscles are involved ?

    This extract ,from a thread on podiatry arena , illustrates the apparently confused thinking that surrounds the short foot exercise . The confusion is not limited to this paper , it is pretty much universal .



    EXTRACT

    • A paper was recently published which looked at the effects of foot exercises on the function of flat feet (below 1 ) .

      The researchers used the short foot exercise to strengthen the foot and the paper grip test to measure toe flexor strength .
      Here is how they described the paper grip test .

      ". Although techniques to assess foot muscle strength [4,22] are evolving, this study used force during an established clinical test, the PGT [4,9]. The paper grip test asks participants to hold a piece of paper placed between the big toe and the floor while the examiner attempts to pull the paper out. Participants were seated in a chair with their backs touching the back of the chair, arms crossed over their chest, feet resting on the floor, and were required to keep their feet on the floor during the test. Participants sat with the pad of their big toe on an embedded force plate (AMTI, Watertown, MA). The sensitivity of the force plate was adjusted so that the range was 0 to 350N. "

      So the researchers used an electronic version of the paper grip test to measure " first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP) flexion strength."

      Question . If pressing the toes down and noting the force with which this can be done is an established clinical test for the plantar toe flexors , then how can you exercise these muscles using the short foot exercise without pressing the toes into the floor ?

      As I understand it , Janda seems to have advocated a version of the short foot exercise in which the toes are relaxed , but also claims this strengthens the plantar intrinsics .That makes no sense .

      Paper 1

      Can Foot Exercises and Barefoot Weight Bearing Improve Foot ...


      https://crimsonpublishers.com/oproj/...ROJ.000567.php
      3 Jul 2018 - The home exercise program included: short foot (foot doming), toe spreading, ... The paper grip test asks participants to hold a piece of paper placed between the big toe and the floor while the examiner attempts to pull the paper out. ... their backs touching the back of the chair, arms crossed over their chest, ...
      Gerrard Farrell

      Glasgow

      scotfoot, May 27, 2019
      #33

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  3. #3
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    Re: Short foot exercise . Which muscles are involved ?

    Is there direct evidence that the tibialis anterior and peroneals are central to the short foot exercise ? Yes ,please see the link below to a recent study ( H Yoon et al 2017) .

    The researchers took care to make sure that subjects activated the abductor hallucis in the exercise , so although the toes remained straight they would have have exerted pressure on the ground .

    Maximum voluntary isometric contraction for the tibialis anterior and peroneus longus was recorded for each subject . Subsequent results showed an EMG in the peroneus longus of 46.3422.76 % of MVIC for flat footed individuals with the ankle plantarflexed , and of 51.4514.54 with the ankle dorsiflexed . See table 2 in the paper .

    That level of activation is enough to produce a progressive strengthening response in the peroneus longus . In my opinion the tibialis posterior is likely activated to the same sort of level as the peroneus longus in the short foot exercise .

    Provided the toes are kept straight and pressed into the ground during the exercise then the short foot exercise ticks a lot of boxes .


    Link to paper
    Comparison of the Foot Muscle EMG and Medial ... - ScienceCentral


    https://www.e-sciencecentral.org/articles/SC000026926
    by H Yoon - ‎2017 - ‎Related articlesThe short foot exercise (SFE) is effective in increasing the height of the MLA for people with flat feet. Most of the research related to the SFE has simply evaluated the efficiency of the exercise using enhanced ABH electromyography (EMG) activation.

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