"Toe Yoga" and Cortical Homunculus

>> Monday, December 30, 2019

When I first met with current PT Jessie, she thought I needed to work on control of my feet. She didn't think that would necessarily fix what was wrong with me, but she thought it was something I needed to work on for the future. (She stopped short of implying that had I worked on things like this earlier in the year that I'd be injury-free right now.)

She brought up the idea of the "cortical homunculus." I had seen images of that before, but I did NOT remember its name. From Wikipedia: it "represents a map of brain areas dedicated to motor processing for different anatomical divisions of the body." Here's more, which describes the imagery that I'd seen before:

Penfield referred to his creations as "grotesque creatures" due to their strange-looking proportions. For example, the sensory nerves arriving from the hands terminate over large areas of the brain, resulting in the hands of the homunculus being correspondingly large. In contrast, the nerves emanating from the torso or arms cover a much smaller area, thus the torso and arms of the homunculus look comparatively small and weak.

The sensorimotor homunculi can also be represented as 3-D figures, which can make it easier for laymen to understand the ratios between the different body regions' levels of motor or sensory innervation.

So here's what Wikipedia is talking about:

Look at how small (or at least how "not huge") that homunculus's feet are. My PT Jessie said the goal was to make my feet bigger in *my* homunculus. So we started "toe yoga."

She gave me a few "exercises."

1. "Doming" where I do NOT curl my toes as I try to lift my arch and push my toes into the ground.

2. "Toe Yoga" where I lift up my big toe while keeping the others on the ground, then flip-flop (lift up my 4 smaller toes while keeping my big toe down).

3. "Toe Splay" where I try to spread out my toes in the air (lifting my toes while my feet are on the ground), and then put them down and try to push them into the ground as they're splayed.

4. "Pedicure Pads" where I put one of my wife's pedicure "toe separating" pads between my toes as I put my feet up for 10-20 minutes. I've started doing this one while wrapped in the heating pad.

5. And since then, she's added in another one where I slide something skinny and rigid (she recommended a clip board, but I've been using a cookie sheet) under my big toe, use the cookie sheet to lift/pivot my toe up, and then use my "toe muscles" to force the cookie sheet back down.

I absolutely SUCKED at #2 (raising just my big toe, and then putting that down while raising just my other 4 toes) at first. I would stare at my feet, but I had no control over my toes! TRY IT. It's harder than it seems. Jessie told me to just try it for a while and be OK with failing - just trying to do it for a while would help.

After doing these exercises for a while, I can now raise just my big toe on command. But it's harder to put that down and raise my other 4 toes on command. But I'm making progress. The feet on my homunculus are growing.

After looking up more on "toe yoga," here's a good recap on someone's blog from many years ago. It mentions many of the exercises my PT has me doing, along with the name Jay Dicharry who Jessie kept mentioning as well.


Friday Funny 1699: Puns

>> Friday, December 27, 2019

Just some quality "dad joke" puns:

Lots more funny things posted all day long on SportsAndLaughs.tumblr.com. HAPPY WEEKEND!!


Friday Funny 1698: Senior Quotes

More funny stuff posted all day long on SportsAndLaughs.tumblr.com.


Friday Funny 1697: More Christmas Funnies

I posted some "Christmas Funnies" last week from Tumblr, but here are few more this week:

More "Christmas Funnies" HERE.

And lots more funny things posted all day long on SportsAndLaughs.tumblr.com.



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