How much do you know about your feet? You use and abuse them every day, and if you are like most people, generally take them for granted. But when you look a little closer, you will discover what amazing structures your feet are!
Each foot has 26 bones arranged to form 33 joints and includes hundreds of ligaments, tendons, and muscles. All of these components work together to provide strength, support and flexibility and create a structure capable of withstanding tremendous amounts of pressure and weight without giving way. Most of the joints in your foot can actively move, while some remain mostly rigid and move very little. The rigid joints are in the mid foot, where 5 irregularly shaped bones form a bridge-like shape which help to form the arches of the foot and act as a shock absorber to distribute the heavy forces they are subjected to. The largest bone at the back of your foot – the calcaneus – carries most of your body weight, and the very important bone just above it – the talus – forms part of the complex articulation of your ankle joint. When everything is working in harmony, this beautifully designed system of bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons, blood vessels, nerves, fibrous tissue and so on does an amazing job of supporting our weight and allowing us to move easily and accomplish some amazing feats. (pun intended)
On the flip-side, if some of these structures become irritated or damaged, they can create a whole series of problems, not just in the feet themselves, but all the way up your body in a chain reaction. The next few blog posts will explore some things that can go wrong with your feet, and some ways to take care of them. In the meantime, just think about all the things you have asked your feet to do for you in the last week, and thank them for it!