Your feet are the unsung heroes of your body. Day after day, they carry you where you want to go, they help you to stand and balance.
How Feet Keep You Mobile
We all take our feet for granted but let’s just take a moment to appreciate how amazing they are. Each foot has 26 bones – that’s almost a quarter of all the bones in your body! There are also 33 joints plus over 100 muscles, ligaments and tendons. All of these elements work in harmony to keep you mobile, give you support and ensure you have perfect balance.
Forefoot, Midfoot, Hindfoot
Each foot is made up of three main sections: the forefoot, the midfoot, and the hindfoot. In the forefoot are the phalanges and metatarsals, which are the bones in our toes. The midfoot area consists of the important tarsals that form the arch of the foot. Finally, the hindfoot is made up of the talus (the ankle bone) and the calcaneus (the heel bone). The calcaneus is the largest bone in your foot while the talus is the highest.
The foot is an incredibly complex structure and one of the many miracles of the human body. It can cope with hundreds of tons of force each day, every time you propel your weight forwards as you walk or run.
Walking: A Complex Series of Movements
Whenever you walk, your body goes through a complex series of movements known as the ‘gait’ or walking cycle. As you walk along, one leg swings forward while the other bears the weight of your body. During this cycle, every part of each foot comes into contact with the ground in a repetitive motion. As the average person walks between 8,000 and 10,000 steps every day, it’s not surprising that our feet can suffer with the strain they are put under.
Our feet adapt to the different surfaces we walk or run on, such as concrete, grass and dirt, and this information is transferred through the ankles, legs, knees, hips and spine, and continues up to our brains. Locomotion – the act of walking – truly is a spectacular feat of natural engineering.
Your feet are the foundation for a healthy body, so it’s vital that you look after them.