The Foot Nature Intended

Ever wonder what your feet would look like if you didn't practice "American Foot Binding" (i.e. wearing tight, pointy toed, high heeled, inflexible shoes)?  Thanks to some 100 year old archival images from the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery you don't have to wonder anymore!

Here is a picture of a "natural" foot, one that spent it's entire life interacting with the ground...

Notice the straight line bisecting the heel and big toe?  The toes are evenly spaced out and creat a broad stable forefoot.  The "pinkie" toe is also in line with the outer edge of the foot.

Now here is a picture of a "civilized" foot, one mangled by modern shoes...

Notice how the big toe has been driven inward, creating a "bunion"?  The alignment of the other toes has also been distorted folding the entire foot into a wedge.

Unfortunately, the problems don't stop at the feet.  Like the foundation of a building, improper foot aligment cascades upwards disrupting the aligment of the entire body.

This image illustrates how the body will compensate to keep your eyes facing forward. 

By artificially lifting the heel, you end up forcing the body to develop a lordotic (i.e. excessively convex) curve in the lower back, a kyphotic (i.e. excessively concave) curve in the upper back, and a "forward head" (excessively exxtended cervical spine). 

Any or all of the above "conditions" creates pain and injury over time (slipped/bulging/ruptured disks, nerve impingement, and pain) not to mention the concommitant impairment of physical performance (everyday activities to athletics).

Entire industries (well intentioned or otherwise) have been built around "fixing" our manufactured diseases (chiropractic, orthotics, podiatric surgeries, etc.)  Thanks to companies like Invisible Shoe, Vibram, and Terra Plana, we now have the option to put on a pair of real-life ruby slippers, click our (nearly) bare heels together, and return home  to happy, healthy feet.

FED is a community supported effort and you can help by making your purchases of Paleo/Primal books, Vibram Five Fingers, grass-fed meat, and other items through the official LIVECAVEMAN! store.  There is no extra cost to you and you'll be doing your part to keep this blog free and full of recipes, fun foods, information, pictures, and much much more!
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About Unknown

Tony is the host of the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast, author of "Paleo Grilling: A Modern Caveman's Guide to Cooking with Fire", and Cofounder of Powerful PT, an innovative information resource for Fitness Professionals. He has appeared on numerous local and national television and radio broadcasts and regularly hosts healthy cooking workshops and informational lectures. He is also a full-time Personal Trainer and Wellness Consultant who lives in Jacksonville Florida with his wife Jamie.
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