How Is My Pinky Toe Giving Me Shoulder Pain?

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

I've been stoked to write this series ever since I brainstormed it out a few weeks ago. It's amazing how intricate our bodies are ​and how unbelievably connected everything is, too. In this series, I will explain how it is ​possible for your pinky toe to be a source of your shoulder pain.
 
Let's start out with a test...

1.) Stand up tall with your arms at your side

2.) Ground throughout your feet, by evenly balancing out your body weight throughout the entire surface area of your foot -- including your toes.

3.) Now, push your ​RIGHT big toe into the ground, while lifting the your other four toes. Hold for 10 seconds.

4.) Repeat again, but with your left foot -- pushing your ​LEFT big toe into the ground and holding your left, four small toes above the ground.

Fairly easy, right?

Let's do another test...
 
1.) Start in the same position as the first test -- standing up tall, arms at your side, grounding through your feet.

2.) On your right foot, push your four small toes into the ground, while trying to lift up your big toe. Lift the big toe as high as you can in the air. Hold it there for 10 seconds.

3.) Repeat again, but on your left foot.

Pretty hard, right?

What just happened?

Folks, you just experienced something awesome, and it has to do with our fascial system.
 
What is our fascial system?

Simply put, our fascia is a system of fibrous connective tissue that runs throughout our body, housing, enclosing, and connecting our internal organs and muscles.
 
Think of fascia like an orange: the flesh is our muscles and organs; the peel is our skin; and the white, fibrous layer directly underneath the skin is your fascia.
 
Our fascia is responsible for connecting everything together and housing our very important organs and muscle groups.
 
What in the world does this have to do with shoulder pain?

When you performed the two tests above, you fired one of your 12 myofascial lines running throughout your body. Specifically, you fired the spinal line.
 
The spinal line runs from the bottom sides of your feet -- up the respective leg to your hip and then ​crosses over your body heading toward the opposite shoulder and up the back of your neck.
 
 null
 
Confused yet?

Let me break it down for you...
 
Since the spinal line runs from your foot to your neck and houses all our muscle groups in between -- if one muscle in that line is out of whack (i.e. inflamed, pulling, or too tight) -- it will pull on another part of the line.
 
Essentially, you could be experiencing pain in your shoulder that could be originating from something in your foot or for example, your PINKY TOE!
 
It's crazy, right?
 
Stay tuned for next week where we will discuss how to alleviate shoulder pain through your spinal line, why your big toe is important, and how your kick is involved.

Want a​ FREE stroke technique lesson from Abbie? -- HEAD HERE.
---
​Abbie Fish​ has been in the competitive swimming realm for over 20 years. After capping off a successful career at University of Georgia, Abbie soon found herself back on the deck as a coach.

Currently, Abbie is a Technique Swim Coach at ​​​​​Ritter Sports Performance She spends her time analyzing race videos and studying different style of stroke technique. Become a Technique Toolbox member -- start your FREE 7-Day trial at www.rittersp.com/Toolbox
 ​or email Abbie at abbie@rittersp.com.
---

FloSwimming's best content, delivered to your inbox!

Don't miss breaking news, feature stories, event updates, and more. Sign up for the FloSwimming mailing list today.

Texas Swimming & Diving Is One Of The Greatest NCAA Division I Dynasties

How Did Texas Prep For World Champ Trials?

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Eddie Reese, head coach of swimming and diving at the University of Texas, is a walking legend. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Para-Swimmer Roderick Sewell Is Redefining 'Multi-Sport Athlete'

This year's Ironman world championships, held in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, were grueling by any standard of measure: a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile ride. For any person of any athletic ability at any point in history, a feat of that magnitude would be impressive — but what about a double above-the-knee amputee?

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

We Stand With You

The events of the last week have been tremendously painful to us all.

Workouts Without Water: Staying In Competition Shape Minus The Pool

Just about everybody is hoping pools don't close (or stay closed) for the summer due to the continued fallout from COVID-19. We know summer without the water can be a difficult task for many, especially parents with kids, but you know who needs the water most of all? Swimmers, that's who. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Youth Sports Leaders Form PLAY Sports Coalition

PLAY Sports Coalition Press Release

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

3 Olympic Swimming Flashbacks Featuring Phelps, Ledecky & Hyman

While the 2020 Tokyo Olympics may be officially postponed, there’s no reason to stop watching swimming. To tide you over before next summer’s festivities in Tokyo, we’ve gathered some of our favorite memories from the past 20 years of Olympics to help you stay in the mood for international competition. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Swimmer's Ear: What Is It and How To Treat It

Whether you're a competitive or leisure swimmer, a bad case of Swimmer's Ear can ruin a perfectly good time.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Officially Postponed

The International Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Japan have officially decided to postpone the 2020 Olympic Games as reported in an article by Mokoto Rich, Matt Futterman, and Tariq Panja of the New York Times.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Depth Proves Successful En Route to B1G Titles

Bloomington, INDIANA - The Big Ten Conference crowned swimming and diving champions during the last two weekends. Competing first in Iowa City, the women deviated from previous years as Ohio State won by nearly 200 points. This past weekend in Bloomington, the men produced many great finishes and a Michigan victory. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

San Diego State Dominates the 2020 MW Championships

Congratulations to the 2020 Mountain West Swimming & Diving Champions, San Diego State!  The Aztecs went wire-to-wire to win back-to-back titles and this year it was a runaway. SDSU scored a conference-record 1463.5 points compared to Nevada who came in second place with 1015.5 points. The Aztecs won 12 of the swimming events, which included all four relays, and diver Ximena Lechuga Gonzalez displayed her dominance by taking gold in the three-meters.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In