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The Peter Attia Drive

Foot health: preventing and treating common injuries, enhancing strength and mobility, picking footwear, and more | Courtney Conley, D.C.

The Peter Attia Drive
The Peter Attia Drive

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Courtney Conley is an internationally renowned foot and gait specialist. In this episode, Courtney delves into the intricate world of foot anatomy and functionality. She explores the complexities of the foot, discussing its anatomy, common injuries, and the importance of understanding its structure in preventing issues. She covers a range of foot ailments, factors contributing to them, treatment options, and prevention strategies. She delves into the significance of loading, balance, range of motion, and posture, emphasizing the crucial role of strength in preventing both injuries and falls. Additionally, she sheds light on the interconnectedness of the kinetic chain, from the leg muscles down to the foot, and how issues within this chain can cascade downstream, leading to various injuries and pathologies. Additionally, she provides a comprehensive overview of footwear, discussing suitable options for both adults and children to promote foot health and mitigate potential problems.

In addition to this interview, Courtney also recorded a series of videos to better explain a number of the concepts discussed such as diagnostic tests that are used to determine mobility and strength and the exercises one should perform to improve the outcomes based on the diagnostics. The interview will be available to everyone while the videos from the gym will only be available to paid subscribers (found at the end of the show notes page).

We discuss:

  • Why Courtney chose to specialize in the foot [3:30];
  • The vital role of foot strength, function, and health in human movement and well-being [6:15];
  • Anatomy of the rear foot and midfoot [10:15];
  • The development of flat feet, the impact of footwear, and the benefits of going barefoot [19:45];
  • Anatomy of the forefoot, common injuries, and why most injuries occur in the forefoot [23:15];
  • Foot musculature and its role in maintaining foot stability and preventing deformities like bunions and hammer toes [30:15];
  • The intrinsic musculature of the foot, plantar fasciitis, footwear, and more [39:00];
  • Plantar fasciitis: diagnosis, causes, and treatment [51:30];
  • Posterior leg muscles: strength assessment methods, role in ACL injuries, and more [59:15];
  • Lateral and medial muscles: ankle stability, arch support, big toe stabilization, and exercises to strengthen and prevent injuries [1:04:15];
  • Importance of strength of lower leg muscles for gait and preventing shin splints, stress injuries, and more [1:08:15];
  • Tendinopathies and other common pathologies related to the anterior and lateral compartments of the foot [1:13:00];
  • The importance of midfoot integrity, ankle dorsiflexion, and a discussion of gait alterations [1:19:45];
  • Proximal stability and its implications for posture and movement patterns [1:27:00];
  • The age-related decline in foot sensation and strength [1:32:45];
  • Common toe injuries, treatment, and how to prevent further progression of the injury [1:36:30];
  • Preventing falls and managing arthritis with proactive foot care and exercises [1:46:45];
  • Footwear: advice for picking shoes that promote foot health [1:54:45];
  • Footwear for runners [2:05:30];
  • The importance of prioritizing footwear that promotes natural foot movement and strength while considering individual comfort and foot health needs [2:09:30]; and
  • More.

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The Peter Attia Drive
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