We all know that the foot is an amazing piece of anatomy and we probably all feel a bit chuffed once we’ve memorised the names of all the bones, know how they are held together, and understand the windlass mechanism and plantar fasciitis. But, other than their existence, what do we know about the intrinsic foot muscles (IFMs)? Well, it turns out that they are pretty crucial for proper functioning of the foot, and that strengthening them can help with many problems relating not only to the foot, but also the ankle and even the knee. This article allows you to understand the concept of the ‘foot core’, how to assess the IFMs and how to strengthen them. Login or register a free account below to access the contents, key points and discussion questions that accompany the article.
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Kathryn Thomas (BSc Physio, MPhil Sports Physiotherapy) is a physiotherapist with a Masters degree in Sports Physiotherapy from the Institute of Sports Science and University of Cape Town, South Africa. She graduated both her honours and Masters degrees Cum Laude, and with Deans awards. After graduating in 2000 Kathryn worked in sports practices focusing on musculoskeletal injuries and rehabilitation. She was contracted to work with the Dolphins Cricket team (county/provincial team) and The Sharks rugby teams (Super rugby). Kathryn has also worked and supervised physios at the annual Comrades Marathon and Amashova cycle races for many years. She has worked with elite athletes from different sporting disciplines such as hockey, athletics, swimming and tennis. She was a competitive athlete holding national and provincial colours for swimming, biathlon, athletics, and surf lifesaving, and has a passion for sports and exercise physiology. She has presented research at the annual American College of Sports Medicine congress in Baltimore, and at The South African Sports Medicine Association in 2000 and 2011. She is Co-Kinetic’s technical editor and has taken on responsibility for writing our new clinical review updates for practitioners.
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