Here is our second instalment of How To Fix Your Feet by Sarah Woods.
Firstly, if you want to fix something you have to assess what is going on before you can address it.
What are the parts & functions?
Each foot contains 26 bones, or roughly a quarter of the total bones in the entire body.
Phalanges-This group of 14 bones contain the toes and joints that create the ball of foot. These joints are shaped to primarily flex and extend
Metatarsals– This group of 5 longer bones create the mid-foot and are what we think of as the arch (Though, technically, there are three- more on that later!)
Tarsals- Heel/ankle – This group of 7 bones connect the forefoot to the lower leg, transmitting force as the heel strikes. This “complex” moves in multiple planes: supination/pronation, inversion/eversion, and plantarflexion/dorsiflexion.
On Flat Feet And High Arches
The Arches of the foot connect three “corners” of the foot, or the Tripod
- A-The first metatarsal- the base of the first (big) toe
- B-The fifth metatarsal- the base of the fifth (pinky) toe
- C- The calcaneus – the heel bone
A-C- medial longitudinal arch– often the higher of the arches, running along the instep. This connects all the bones on the medial side of the foot, is supported by anterior and posterior tibialis muscles, peroneals, and acts as a springboard for walking and running.
B-C- lateral longitudinal arch– the flatter of the longitudinal arches, connecting the lateral side of the foot between the fifth toe and heel.
A-B- transverse arch(es)– more a series of arches shaped like a dome, connecting the medial and lateral longitudinal arches. Consisting of the interosseous, plantar, and dorsal ligaments, and short muscles of the first and fifth toes, the transverse arch absorbs force during gait and assists in propulsion
How To Get To Know Your Feet
Take your shoes and socks off and spend 10-15 minutes working through each part of the foot. Move each joint under your fingers and take notice of how it feels. Explore the movements available as though your feet weren’t your own. Try to relax the muscles of the foot and lower leg and identify areas that move less and which are more pliable. Then wiggle, spread, and crunch your toes, sweep the foot in and out and point your toes and dorsiflex. Move in all the ways you can, and FEEL the muscles under your fingers. * video is sped up, please move slowly and mindfully.
Notice how you hold your weight in your feet, on the ground, when you stand up. And what happens when you stand on one foot. Then compare.
Take note of what you find.
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