Wednesday, August 22 2018
An overlooked aspect for our overall structural stability comes primarily from the big toe and secondarily the other toes. The muscle for the big toe, the flexor hallucis longus can be muscle tested for strength, and if weak, it might indicate that there is a problem with either a subluxation of the L5-S1 nerve root in the lower back, a subluxation of one of the bones of the feet or the toes themselves. Weakness in the muscles of the feet can occur for the same reasons it would occur anywhere; lack of use. For those who are sedentary or elderly this is common.
Forty percent of senior citizens 70 years or older will fall at least once each year. With any fall, risk of sprains, strains or fractures are possible, and this can lead to increased frailty and diminished life expectancy. The cost in the U.S. of providing health care to seniors after a fall is roughly 30 billion dollars annually. Surprisingly, the single best predictor of a senior falling is toe strength!
In a study of 300 people by Mickle in 2009, it was discovered that non-falling seniors had 20% more toe strength than seniors who fell while there was equal strength in the quadriceps muscle and ankle strength between the two groups. Unfortunately, toe weakness is common in senior citizens and they generally have declines of 35% or more in toe strength as compared to younger adults.
The Vele Forward Lean Maneuver
This test is to see the connection between toe strength and falling. When standing barefoot simply lean forward... >