There are 26 bones of the foot! That’s amazing enough but did you know there are 107 ligaments and 19 muscles and tendons? And 33 joints? Now double the number of bones of the foot and you now get 52 bones, 214 ligaments, 38 muscles and tendons, and 66 joints. It’s a complex anatomical structure.
The bones of the foot – well the feet together – comprise about 25% of the bones of your body.
Can you see why your feet are so important to your well-being? One little episode of wearing shoes that fit too tight or high heels for too long has made a great impact on your body.
Because of the sheer number of bones of the foot, doctors and anatomists divide the foot into three areas. This makes the foot easier to discuss, and biomechanically, easier to figure out. These three areas are the forefoot, midfoot and hindfoot.
The bones of the foot in your forefoot include the toes (called phalanges) and the longer bones of the foot the toes connect to, called metatarsals. The bones of the midfoot are the squarish-shaped bones called the cuboid, navicular and three cuneiform bones. These will form the longitudinal arch of the foot. A broad band of tissue called the plantar fascia connects the middle part of the foot to the rest of the foot.
The bones of the foot in your hindfoot make up the heel. These bones are called the talus and calcaneus. They connect to the rest of your leg.
Once you understand the actual bones of the foot, you can now look at their form. You’ll notice that they aren’t built like Lego blocks stacked on top of each other. Instead there’s a shape to them. If they were like Lego blocks, you wouldn’t have flexibility of your foot. However, the bones of the foot are uniquely crafted into a structure that allows a medial longitudinal arch and an arch in the metatarsals.
When you walk, the primary arch of the foot made from the bones of the foot that extend from the metatarsal #1 and 2 to the heel form a bridge-like structure. When the ‘bridge’ collapses, you’ll need arch supports. If the bridge is too high, you’ll also need arch supports. And if you have neutral arches but stand on your feet all day long, you’ll need arch supports.
Whether or not you need arch supports is sheerly dependent on the structure of the bones of the foot, never someone’s opinion.
There are many arch supports to choose from. A good selection can be found at www.aideastep.com