Our body’s shock absorbers

Our ankles are the body’s first and strongest shock absorbers for walking, running and whatever else we do on our feet.

Our ankles are the body’s first and strongest shock absorbers for walking, running and whatever else we do on our feet.

by Roxann Christensen — 

How are your ankles doing today? If you do not know, try these tests: Put your hand on a counter for balance. Bend your right knee, lifting your right foot off the ground. Now wiggle your leg back and forth. Does your foot wiggle independently from your leg? It should. It should be moving back and forth.

Now, sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. With your hand, grab either leg at the knee and wiggle it back and forth. Your foot, again, should be moving opposite or independently from your leg. If it moves this way, great! If doesn’t, that is not so good.

Have you ever thought of your ankles as shock absorbers? They really are. Our ankles are the body’s first and strongest shock absorbers for walking, running and whatever else we do on our feet. If they do not absorb shock well, something has to fill their place. How about those knees?

It seems a bad idea to have our knees taking on all that pressure, but some people’s knees do just that. Have you ever known anyone who had knee-replacement surgery?

If not the knees, the next shock absorber to kick in might be the low back. Like the knees, lower backs make bad shock absorbers, but this happens much more often than it should.

It is interesting that the ankles of people with low back pain usually have about as much flexibility as concrete. Low back pain can have many causes, but if we improved our ankle flexibility, we’d have more relaxed back muscles, which would keep us out of associated troubles.

On an energetic level, according to Louise Hay, “Ankle problems are about inflexibility and guilt.” She also says, “Flexible ankles represent the ability to receive pleasure.”

The following are a couple of ankle stretches you can try on your own:

  • Do ankle circles rotating ankles in both directions.
  • While sitting on the floor with legs outstretched, point your toes back towards you and then away from you, several times. Take care of your body’s shock absorbers. You’ll be amazed at how much pain you can prevent, while keeping life’s pleasures flowing your way.

 

Roxann Christensen is a certified, licensed Asian Bodywork therapist who works in Phoenix. www.rangeofmotionbodywork.com or 623-330-8488.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 1, February/March 2006.

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