It has been 10 years since I introduced functional foot manipulations into my practice, I have experienced some gratifying patient outcomes with this technique. I was mentored in this technique by Dr. Rue Tikker, DPM. Foot manipulation can provide relief without surgery, drugs, or pain!
Foot manipulations are very successful for freeing up motion in a stiff osteoarthritic joints. There is some success with neuromapain as well. Foot manipulation employs the idea that a perfect foot structure is not needed in order to walk comfortably. Instead, patients need enough motion in several key joints. After two and half decades of watching people walk, I have observed how your foot can compensate for lack of motion and/ or structural problems in your foot. Correcting these problems can be as simple as balancing your foot in the shoe with an orthotic or manipulating the foot to get enough motion in a "jammed" part of the foot. The mid-foot joints control the motion of the joints in the front of the foot. When the stiffness is released in the mid-foot joints there is a noticeable difference in the ability to bend the toes in the ball of the foot and walk more freely. Exercises that promote muscle flexibility will help to keep joints from becoming stiff.
Manipulative therapy is a long established technique that manually sets the bones of the feet and ankles in their proper position along with starting a free flow of fluid through lymphatic channels to promote healing. Functional foot manipulations are osteopathic foot manipulations.