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About Feet: Some Basics

Most of us have two feet. Unless our feet hurt we pretty much ignore them. Some of us hurt so consistently that we also ignore that. But whatever our feet do and sense affects the rest of our body.

Feet are sophisticated. Normally having twenty six bones, twenty five joints, three arches, three layers of muscle on the bottom, and lots of individual variations in size and shape.

Imagine you lived most of your life in boxing gloves. How would your dexterity be? Think of feet as functioning as antennae, feeling the ground and helping us find support. Feet are our first shock absorbers. Tight shoes limit the ability of our feet to flex and twist. Stiff shoes limit capability, basically making us less coordinated.

Shoes are convenient, being warm and protecting us from cuts. Often they are not comfortable, and they can be out right destructive.  An accurate fit is important If you need shoes, buy them in the late afternoon or when you have been walking a lot so that your feet are more warmed up. New shoes should feel great. They don’t really break in, so much as your foot contracts to evade the pressure and pain.

Less is better, meaning soft shoes with no heels are best. Heels are unnecessary, and even small heels shift the pressure in unnatural ways. Tall heels put incredible force on the ball of the foot and toes, and shift the support so that the pelvis tilts making the low back curve too deep.

Foot doctors, be they orthopedists or podiatrists, see feet as almost separate entities from the rest of the body. The laws of physics tell us that whatever happens anywhere in our body affects our feet. That can get complicated to think about, but it matters a whole lot.

Proper function of your feet help absorb impact. That protects your knees and back. The information you get from the pressure sensing nerves in the joint of your feet is critical for standing and walking. If you were to get injected with anesthesia in your ankles, you would not be able to balance well enough to stand still. Many knee, hip, back and neck problems begin in the feet.

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September 7, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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