In 1989, I published on podopostural therapy, the foundation under posturology.
What is posturology?
Posturology represents the knowledge of human posture, its cooperative regulation systems and, based on feedback, the integral implementation.
My name is Peter W.B.Oomens. I am a retired posturologist. From 2007 till 2011 I have been chairman of the Dutch professional group. My intention is to get posturology better known. My knowledge and experience makes it possible to help and coach my colleagues.
If you are interested, need some kind of support or coaching, please contact me by e-mail: peteroomens(at)xs4all(dot)nl or by phone: +31 (0)343 442563.
Peter W.B.Oomens (Research on Posturology).
You want to read more about posturology? Download the publications listed below:
- posturology as a treatment. Current Pedorthics
- Matrix makes foot sole related therapies better understood
- The foot core system: a new paradigm for understanding intrinsic foot muscle function
- The best shoe? No shoe!
- A comparison in the muscle activity of the abductor hallucis and the medial longitudinal arch angle during toe curl and short foot exercises
- Effect of vision, proprioception and the position of the vestibular organ on postural sway
- The Human Balance System
- short foot exercises (instead of orthotics?)
- short foot exercises (video)
More information can be found on the next pages and https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4207322
The best shoe? No shoe!
a hypothesis by
More than 20 years I treated patients suffering from (low) back pain, foot- and ankle pain and other, posture related disorders. I did so by making them a pair of very thin, personal insoles on which I glued 1 à 2 mm pieces of cork. This therapy is based on the ideas of Dr. René Jacques Bourdiol, a French neurologist (†).
It is my hypothesis that pressure at the plantar mechanoreceptors of the foot initiate impulses to the spinal cord through α – afferent fibers, resulting in an efferent motor (re)action to this area. The involved intrinsic foot muscles will then contract. Such an element placed under the medial arch of the foot causes contraction of the m. abductor hallucis and so less pronation. This pronation is in my opinion physiologic .
In 1995, I published in the Dutch journal for Integral Medicine (Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Integrale Geneeskunde, 1995; 11(2), 108-112) my hypothesis that in a loaded human foot we find a so called ‘force closure’ of the foot joints, at least in the length. The needed force is provided mainly by the intrinsic foot muscles and supported by strong plantar ligaments, such as the aponeurosis plantaris, lig. calcaneonaviculare, lig.plantare, etc. These ligaments are not found in mammals as e.g. the bear, who also can walk and stand on flat feet. A hypothesis at that time, but more and more accepted.
Barefoot sand prints:
Frequently walking on the beach (North Sea), I have watched an infinite number of barefoot prints. To my surprise almost all sand prints show less deep where you expect them to be the deepest: under the medial arch!
This raises automatically the question why (over)pronation can seldom be concluded from these sand prints?
The only reasonable explanation must be that pronation is a physiologic phenomenon .
Barefoot or shod:
What is the difference between barefoot walking and walking on shoes?
Benno Nigg published in 1986 ‘Biomechanics of running shoes’. He concluded that a medial arch orthotic, placed in the rear part of a shoe against the calcaneus, reduces the initial pronation, while placed more ventral the effect becomes less. Compared to barefoot running however shod running always causes more pronation.
Neurologic of the plantar foot:
The glabrous foot sole has a great number and variety of neuroreceptors: Ruffini, Krause, Vater, Pacini, Meisner, free nerve endings, etc. They are all specified to a certain function, but many of them are also sensitive to pressure. These are called mechanoreceptors. A total of 104 mechanoreceptors are identified in the glabrous skin of the foot sole, controlling standing balance and movement.
stands for knowledge of the human posture, the interactive body control systems and, based on feedback, integral implementation.
Posturology is partly based on the theory of the late Dr.R.J.Bourdiol (neurologist, France), who suggested that stimulation of the foot sole lead to a postural correction in patients suffering from all kind of postural complaints as e.g. low back pain, but also with foot- and ankle disorders. It was Bourdiol’s hypothesis that such an insert, placed under the medial arch of the foot, activates immediately the nuclear chain- and bag spindle of the involved muscle (proprioceptive, see image above). In this example the m.abductor hallucis.
Although the method has proven its effectiveness over more than 35-40 years, there has been initially some skepticism. Not incomprehensible.
Analyzing the local skin and the underlying tissues it is not very probable that a cork element activates the у-fibers inside the muscle as thought by Bourdiol… The only sensors that can be activated are the mechanoreceptors as mentioned before (which are exteroceptive). Facilitation of the skin under the medial arch causes the m. abductor hallucis to contract. The role of the у-system is to preset a basic muscle tone and registration of the foot/ankle joint position. In fact, the α – and у – fibers fire almost together; we call this ą - у co-activation. The ‘Bourdiol system’ (proprioceptive/exteroceptive) activates the intrinsic muscles of the foot, instead of supporting the arches mechanically. These intrinsic muscles are mainly found at the plantar side of the foot.
The question shoes or no shoes depends on the situation. Observing the running performance of Ethiopians and Kenyans, I tend when and where possible, to go barefoot. Especially children up to 6/7 years. And when they need to wear shoes, these should be properly fitting and flexible! Too stiff shoes influence people’s gait.
Peter W.B. Oomens
Research on Posturology
Villa d'Este 3962 LP, 15 Netherlands
mob: +31 6 41995554
- The foot core system: a new paradigm for understanding intrinsic foot muscle function Br J Sports Med bjsports-2013-092690Published Online First: 21 March 2014
- Anatomy and biomechanics of the pelvis
- Andry Vleeming
- Biomechanics of Running Shoes (English) Hardcover – January 1986
- Benno M. Nigg (Herausgeber)
- Distribution and behavior of glabrous cutaneous receptors in the human foot sole
- January 18, 2008
- Paul M.Kennedy and J.Timothy Inglishttp://jp.physoc.org/cgi/content/full/538/3/995
- This is the final published version of this article; it is available at:
- Evaluation and Retraining of the Intrinsic Foot Muscles for Pain Syndromes Related to Abnormal Control of Pronation
- Bahram Jam, Mphty (Manip), BScPT, FCAMT
- Posturology as a treatment. Current Pedorthics
- posturology.nl/fileadmin/user_upload/Current_Pedorthics.pdf 2014