We all know our feet are important. We couldnít walk without them. Feet are often taken for granted. We put them in shoes that pinch them and constrict their movements. We pound them into the ground with no thought whatsoever. Until of course, there is pain. Knowing the general makeup of your foot and how those parts are important is helpful in understanding how to maintain a healthy walking program.
Your feet are responsible for keeping you moving. They are comprised of many working parts that all work together to help you engage in activities such as walking, running, and jumping. There are many small parts of your feet that make up three major parts of your feet. The three sections of your feet are the forefoot, midfoot, and hindfoot.
The forefoot is made up of five toes called phalanges. These phalanges are connected to five longer bones called metatarsals. The forefoot bears half of your bodyís weight. This weight is balanced on the balls of your feet. Often it is the metatarsal bones that are injured, or fractured. Pain, swelling, redness, or bruising may indicate a fracture.
The midfoot make up the arches of your feet. These bones are the shock absorbers of your body. They are three cuneiform bones, the cuboid bone, and the navicular bone, together they absorb the harsh impacts of walking, running, jumping, and playing. These bones change their movements according to the surface you are walking on.
The hindfoot is made of the heel and ankle bones. The talus bone supports your leg bones and makes up your ankle. The calcaneus is your heel bone. The calcaneus is the largest bone in your foot and is protected by a layer of fat.
These bones are surrounded by muscles, tendons, and ligaments that make movement and balance possible. Such as the achilles tendon that connects the heel to the calf muscle. This tendon is important in flexing your feet for activities like running, jumping, and standing on your toes.
Your foot is made up of many working parts.
- 26 bones
- 33 joints
- 107 ligaments
- 100+ muscles
- Blood vessels
- Soft Tissues
There are many areas that injury can surface on your feet. Heel spurs, bunions, corns, ingrown toenails, athleteís foot, plantar warts, and many more injuries and illnesses can slow you down. Taking care of your feet should be a part of your daily routine, a part of your health routine. Implement foot exercises to keep your feet flexible and strong. Soak your feet and care for calluses and nails weekly to keep your feet healthy. If you have severe pain or find that there is an injury or issue you canít care for, see a podiatrist.