This second mistake happens because the nervous system compensates for tight hips and stiff ankles by turning the feet out.
This way, the nervous system can circumvent restrictions caused by limited range of motion in the hips and ankles. Compare the following two pictures for an illustration.
Try this experiment. Stand with the foot of your pain-free knee in front of your body. Point the foot straight ahead and try to touch your knee to a piece of furniture right in front of it by moving the knee out over the 2nd and 3rd toe. Move the foot away inch by inch, until you can barely touch the object.
Next, turn the foot out about 30-degrees and try to touch the object again. You’ll notice that it’s much easier to do so. For ankles with restricted mobility, this is an attractive alignment because it will instantly give you “more” range of motion, but it comes at a cost.
If you move with your feet turned out:
- Your arches will collapse, causing what seems like “flat” feet.
- Your Achilles tendon will pull off-axis, predisposing you to Achilles tendonitis, bone spurs, and Achilles tendon tears.
- Your knee will automatically end up internally rotated, predisposing you to ACL-tears, meniscus tears, patellar tendonitis, patella-femoral pain syndrome, and more.