The Human Foot: A Marvel of Nature

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This week I wanna focus on a part of our body that often doesn’t get the attention it deserves: The human foot. We often pack it into heavy running shoes with lots of cushioning. This might not be the perfect treatment for your feet. But before discussing some science facts on barefoot running in the next post, I’ll try to give you an overview of this marvel of our body.

Our foot is one of the greatest organs for the human. Try to put one foot in front of the other, and every day you are taken on fantastic journeys and wild adventures. Along with twenty-six different bones in each and thousand of sweat glands, our feet are complicated parts of our body, which can speak a lot about your health.

What Your Feet Are Made Of

The human ankle and foot are complicated organs, which work together to offer flexibility and strength. Your ankle serves as a foundation, which offers shock absorption. Your foot can support enormous pressure and offers resiliency and flexibility. Your ankle and foot include:

  • A network of soft tissues, skin, nerves and blood vessels
  • Over 100 ligaments, tendons, and muscles
  • 33 joints
  • 26 bones (1 quarter of the bones throughout the human body)

Each of these components work together to offer the body mobility, balance, and support. A problematic ailment of malfunction in any part could cause issues elsewhere within the body. Apart from that, when there’s an abnormality along with the other parts of your body, issues can happen with your feet. This could make it hard for you to keep running injury free.

The Three Parts Of Your Foot

Apart from that, there are 3 main parts of the foot – the hindfoot, the midfoot and forefoot. Every part is as vital as the other.

  • The forefoot is made up of 5 toes known as phalanges that connect to long bones known as metatarsals. Every toe is composed of several small bones. The hallux of the big toe is composed of 2 phalanges, 2 joints and 2 small, round sesamoid bones, which enable it to move down and up. The other 4 toes have 3 bones and 2 joints. On the ball of the foot, your phalanges link to the metatarsals by 5 metatarsals phalangeal joints.
  • The hindfoot has 3 joints and is accountable for connecting the midfoot to the talus or ankle. The top of the ankle links to the 2 long bones of the lower leg (fibula and tibia), making a hinge, which enables the foot to move down and up.
The bones of your foot

The bones of your foot

Muscles In Your Foot

There are twenty muscles in our foot, which give your foot its shape by gripping the bones into position, expand and contract to enable movement. There are also small and large muscles in the foot. The smaller ones offer the toe the capability to curl and lift, while the main muscles of your foot are:

  • Flexors – helps stabilize your toes from the ground
  • Extensors – helps your ankle lit the toes to perform the act of stepping forward
  • Peroneal tibial – controls the movement on the outside of your ankle
  • Anterior tibial – allows the foot to move skyward
  • Posterior tibial – supports your arch
Muscles of Your Foot

Muscles of Your Foot

There’s More: Tendons And Ligaments

In case you didn’t know yet, there are also elastic tissues known as tendons in the foot, which links the muscles to our bones and joints. Did you know that the Achilles Tendon is the strongest and biggest tendon in your foot and it has the ability to extend from your calf muscle to your heel? Its joint function and strength manage walking up stairs, jumping, running and raising your body into the toes. Furthermore, ligaments support the tendons in place and steady the joints. The longest of them is the plantar fascia, which creates the arch of the sole of your foot from heel to toes. It enables the arch to flatten or curve, offering balance and giving your foot strength for walking, running and other activities.

Your medial ligaments located on the inside as well as the lateral ligaments, which on the outside of your foot give stability and allow the foot to move down and up. Nerves, vessels, and skin offer the foot its durability and shape. The system also enables for muscular nourishment and cell regeneration, and limits its varied movements. All parts of the foot are important and work altogether to offer strength and stability for the rest of your body and let runners be ready for their training and races.

You should remember, in order to protect your foot, it’s essential to wear proper socks and footwear to prevent painful injuries and promote healthy feet, particular if you’re running long distances.

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