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Feet: The Key Link and Foundation to the human body

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

Introduction

There are 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 muscles, ligaments and tendons in the feet, and they play an important role as the foundation for your whole body in terms of posture, support and balance.



Foot problems or poor foot mechanics which are left untreated may subsequently lead to further problems, often up through the rest of the body, manifesting as knee/hip/back related pain and injuries.

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, around 20% of the population in the United States has at least one foot problem per year.

Our feet play an important role in providing normal gait (walking), however adequate range of motion, proprioceptive ability and muscular strength is required. The muscles, ligaments and tendons help to provide stability and/or movement.

Common injuries in the feet include:

· hammer toe

· plantar fasciitis

· achilles tendinitis

· stress fractures

· ankle sprains

Biomechanical dysfunctions of the feet include:

· Flatfoot (pes planus) – loss of the longitudinal arch which may cause the feet to ache

· High arch (pes cavus) – high medial longitudinal arch, ability to absorb shock during ambulation is lost, which may increase stress on the ball and heel of the foot

· Hallux rigidus – the big toe becomes stiff and immobile which may cause pain and dysfunctions at the proximal joints

· Equinus – ankle dorsiflexion is limited which may increase pressure on the ball of the foot and could be caused by tightness in the achilles tendon and/or calf musculature

· Overpronation – excessive rolling inward movement of the foot, which may predispose lower extremity injuries

Book an appointment with our physiotherapist for a thorough assessment including gait analysis to ensure you can make your feet biomechanics optimal and reduce the risk of injury, whilst maximising your quality of life and performance, whether it be sporting performance or performance in your everyday activities.

If you have sustained a foot and/or ankle injury, book in with our physiotherapist for an assessment and to begin working on an individualized rehabilitation plan.

We look forward to seeing you!

References

Kane, R.L., Ouslander, J.G., Abrass, I.B. and Resnick, B. (1994) Essentials of Clinical Geriatrics. 3rded. New York, NY. McGraw-Hill Education.

Tang UH, Zügner R, Lisovskaja V, Karlsson J, Hagberg K, Tranberg R. (2015) Foot deformities, function in the lower extremities, and plantar pressure in patients with diabetes at high risk to develop foot ulcers.Diabetes Foot and Ankle, 6.

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