There are many small muscles within the bottom part of the feet and probably because of their size they haven't yet received much importance. It has begun to change recently as studies have started to demonstrate just how essential these muscles are to normal functionality and dysfunction of the foot. They appear to have an important function in how we balance and issues with these small muscles is probably a factor in many of the digital deformities. This theme was addressed within a recent show of the podiatry talk show which is broadcast live on Facebook known as PodChatLive. In this PodChatLive the hosts talked with Luke Kelly who has written extensively in the area of plantar intrinsic foot muscle biomechanics and just how crucial they are. Luke talked about the spring-like purpose of the human feet whenever walking and the role of the intrinsic muscles in that. Luke also discussed the reason it is fictitious to believe a flat foot will be a “weaker” foot. Luke also discusses exactly why he's personally NOT a fan of the ‘short foot exercise’ and just exactly why conditioning the intrinsic musculature won't ever result in the medial longitudinal arch ‘higher’ which can be a commonly believed myth.
Dr Luke Kelly PhD has over 15 years of clinical knowledge helping people with pain resulting from musculoskeletal injuries along with persistent medical conditions. He has accomplished a PhD in biomechanics and is also actively interested in research that attempts to improve the knowledge and treatments for prevalent foot ailments, for example plantar fasciitis, foot tendon disorders, osteoarthritis in the foot as well as children’s sports injuries. He currently is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Sensorimotor Performance at the School of Human Movement & Nutrition Sciences at the University of Queensland in Australia. Luke’s current research is analyzing the way the brain and spinal cord combines sensory responses to change the biomechanical movement of the foot during running and walking.