There are 26 bones in each foot making up 1/4 of the bones in the body!
Humans are an unusual species, walking on 2 legs? I mean, where did evolution get that idea from? The fact that we have adapted to be able to do this is an amazing feat (let's just take a moment to appreciate the pun) of coordination, balance and engineering. Walking is, after all, essentially controlled falling and it all starts at the feet.
Your feet are the base of your body - therefore, it would make sense that if your feet or ankles are having a problem then it could affect the knee... or the hip... or the back... even stretching up the spine and vice versa. Our hips, pelvis and spine all evolved into the shape the are in order to allow us to walk more easily on two legs. So, if you start walking differently, that will have a knock on effect all the way up the body.
Despite all this, the feet are often neglected or undersold. On the contrary,
FEET ARE FASCINATING!
Let's take a look at how they're designed shall we? We didn't evolve wearing shoes, so why are our feet so good at what they do?
This is a diagram of how the bones in the feet look from above.
As you can see, it's pretty complex! >>
<< Now let's consider the feet in terms of keystone arches. An interlocking series of bones and joints that form arches - these arches allow the feet to be both supported and flexible.
Our heel -> toe gait means that those arches are needed to provide leverage and propelling power when running.
If these arches are reduced or the foot is damaged for any reason, it can lead to instability... reduced power... leg length discrepancy... increased pressure through the knee...
twisting through the pelvis and up the back.
All of this is why, when you go to an Osteopath for treatment on your back or legs, they may end up looking at your feet. This could mean: -- Talking about getting more supportive shoes
-- Helping you get more mobility back in your feet
-- Giving you exercises to strengthen your arches
Osteopaths are, after all, all about the body being connected!
Want to find out more? Take a look at these links and, as always, you are welcome to contact me!