Importance of the foot

The foot is critically important for functioning in the bi-pedal posture (standing on two feet). All body motions are dependent upon the stabilizing and movement facilitating actions of the foot (foot/feet, ankle(s) will be used interchangeably). The necessity for foot health is often disregarded until a musculo-skeletal (muscle, bone) compromise occurs in that area. Keeping the foot healthy will allow for continuity in day to day activities.


We do more than dance on our feet


The human foot has developed to support the body. The 28 bones and 33 joints of the foot are structured as a flexible truss.  The bones of the foot are set in a top down fashion. The top bones, the larger bones, set into the bones underneath. The are arranged in an arch type of fashion. When this structure is buttressed by the muscles, ligaments and tendons, the foot is, simultaneously, strong and resilient. The foot developed in a natural state. No shoes came between the foot and the ground. This is instrumental to the way the foot’s structure evolved.


The bony structure of the foot


The muscles in the foot engage so that the body will move in a correspondingly. For example, this is a simplified outline of sidestepping to the left. Pressing down on the outer right foot (lifting up the inner right foot) will stabilize the body when stepping sideways to the left. When stepping down with the left inner foot, the muscles on the outer left foot engage (finishing by stepping onto the outer left foot). This enables the body to absorb and equalize the forces of the movement. Pushing down in the opposite direction initiates the movement. It is important that the muscles (tendons, ligaments) and nervous system interact in a synchronous manner.


Muscles and Tendons in the foot


All activity halts when a foot injury happens. Measures to rehab the foot must ensure that foot health is restored. This will impact balance, core function, posture and the working of the internal organs. The rehabbing efforts must focus on restoring the structural integrity of the foot. The foot will properly support the body, facilitate proper core engagement and stabilization and propel the body when it is structurally sound.


Take care of the feet. They are marvelously designed to support humans in the upright posture. There is no moving from point A to point B and back without the feet. Workouts must incorporate some foot strengthening and stabilizing movement so that the feet will be healthy. Even when walking one must attempt to ‘feel’ the feet. Developing the awareness lifting the foot and placing back down will strengthen the nervous system connections and muscular interactions.

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