Updated: Feb 13
The primary function of feet are to serve as the foundation of the body. Our feet, a fraction of our bodies mass carries the weight of all of it. Feet also play a major role in our body's alignment and ability to balance.
Since so much is riding them perhaps we should take time to invest in the care of our 👣. Let's start by learning of their anatomy.
26 bones, 33 joints, 1,300 nerve endings, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles
25% of the bones in the human body reside below the ankle
Three arches created by muscular contraction
medial: on the inside of the foot and runs from ourheel to our big toe
lateral: on the outside of the foot and runs from our heel to our pinkie toes
transverse: runs from the pinkie to to the big toe, across the ball of the foot
Two types of muscles
Intrinsic: both attachments begin and end in the foot itself, small muscles that control tiny
movements (example: abductor digiti minimi, the muscle that moves the little toe away from
the other toes.
Extrinsic: one attachment is in the foot and one is located outside of the foot area (example:
muscles of the calves.
Two types of nerves
Sensory: sense stimuli such as pain, smooth, rough, cold, hot.
Motor: carries impulses to central nervous system to trigger muscle contraction.
Two sizes of nerves
Small: bottom of the foot, faster signals to CNS, provide stance and upright stability
Large: when something is on the bottom of the foot it blocks response time of these nerves,
thus have to rely on larger nerves of ankle/leg to move, inability to feel the ground will result in
greater strike on the ground which means a greater impact on the joint, body in general.
In This Post
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Discover arch type and what it means by clicking here.
The Worlds Influence On Our Feet
Fashion vs Passion
Could we be participating in Foot Binding
While our modern day western version of this may not appear as extreme it is happening and it is almost impossible to escape the 'necessity' of shoes. From the beginning we are putting some form of confinement on feet; baby booties . By the time we are of age culture has put almost anything under our soles and said make it work. And guess what, we do! With no apparent stop in site we voluntarily participate in daily intentional malformation of one's body that is bound to have lasting effects.
Shoes & Pathologies
We may tell ourselves that our shoes protect our feet from the elements of the outside world but we the apparent benefits are actually having a negative effects now and later. These effects are showing up not only in our feet but in our entire body.
While shoes may have started minimal, a thin layer of animal skin or woven materials to dampen the impact of the earth, they have become a wardrobe staple that for some require a wall from floor to ceiling to house.
And while some of you may scough at the idea of having that many shoes US Footwear Market was a 79.86 billion industry back in 2017. People are passionate about their pumps, serious about their sneakers and loyal when they lace up. But other than nearly 80 billion dollars annual what are shoes costing the consumer.
For starters MISALIGNMENT. Our bodies are in a constant unnatural stance forced to compensate hours at a time, daily.
Ready To Transition?
Whole Body Barefoot by Katy Bowman I got it back in 2017 and it really helped me transition. I still reference it for the awesome exercises inside.
Grab Why Shoes? And review it prior to buying your next pair.
A pathology is a thing, a type of noun. It is defined as the science of the causes and effects of diseases, especially the branch of medicine that deals with the laboratory examination of samples of body tissue for diagnostic or forensic purposes.
See photo for medical and mental definition & origin
Common pathologies of the foot include:
Learn more about these pathologies here.
Assessment & Healing
Where To Start
Foot Assessment (trace or paint bare feet and shoes)
Alignment (take photos of your feet and ankles, examine the sole of your shoes)
Exercises (again Wholebody Barefoot by Katy Bowman)
Toe Separators (passive)
Next Step is to train the feet to be shoeless. Take your time and honor your body.
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