Feet are the sometimes ticklish bottom appendages that contact more objects over the course of our lives than probably any other part of our body. We walk around on our feet, use them to jump, balance, stabilize ourselves, and jog. Feet are almost always touching the ground, even when we’re sitting down.
Feet are flexible combinations of bones, muscles, tissues, and joints. The foot’s construction is similar to the hand, but the foot bears more weight and is less mobile. Hands are light and free-flowing, feet are strong and sturdy. The foot contains more than a hundred different tendons, ligaments, and muscles that move around forty joints. No wonder you get foot cramps!
There are three main parts of the foot, the forefoot (toes and metatarsals), the midfoot (arches) and hindfoot (heel and ankle). The midfoot contains the cuneiform bones, cuboid bone, and navicular bone. The hind foot has the calcaneus or heel bone, which is the largest bone in the foot.
Parts of the Foot
The forefoot contains five phalanges, or toes, and the five metatarsals, which are longer bones.
The forefoot also contains the balls of your feet, the metatarsal area, which is essential for sprinting and cutting during sports.
Toenails aren’t just made to be clipped and painted. They act as shields for your toes, protecting them while walking around.
The midfoot is the part of the foot that forms the arches of your feet. These include the three cuneiform bones, the cuboid bone, and the navicular bone.
Fibrous tissue called the plantar fascia supports your arch, holding the form and muscles in place.
Your foot has three main arches, the medial arch, lateral arch, and fundamental longitudinal arch. They’re created by the bones and tendons to help you angle yourself while walking, and make walking a more natural motion.
The primary function of the arches is to act as a shock absorber, which explains why you sometimes get cramps directly in the arches. The arches absorb the pressure and blow from the front and back of your foot to protect your toes and heel. Energy from the ground is transferred into the complex structure of the arch to dissipate on impact.
The hindfoot is the part of the foot that forms the heel and ankle. The talus bone supports the leg bones (tibia and fibula), forming the ankle.
The calcaneus (heel bone) is the largest bone in the foot. It slopes to meet the tarsal bones and is cushioned by a large layer of fat to prevent bruising and damage.
The famous Achilles tendon is located in the hindfoot, connecting the heel to the calf. The Achilles help you run, jump, and stand on your toes, providing strength for your heel and calf.
How Does Walking Work?
Most of the muscles that make you walk are in your leg and not your foot. Your legs power the walking motion, while your feet are responsible for maintaining balance and providing solid landing pads. As you begin to run, your feet tense up to provide more stability and power for the motion.
All of your lower leg muscles connect to the bones of the foot to pull and push as you step.
Most of the muscles in your foot are concentrated at the sole, for exerting pressure when walking and running. The central, lateral, and medial muscles are all at the sole. Dorsum muscles are the only muscles at the top of the foot.
Feet take most of the brunt of the ground, and the stress of your daily walks around the office. They help you stand and hold tension very well. Because of their constant pressure, contact with the ground, and rubbing, feet are prone to injuries and fungal infections.
It is important to keep feet clean through washing and to release pressure via massaging to prevent infection and injury. Take care of your feet and they’ll take care of you!
Ligaments are sort of like muscles that don’t receive blood flow. Your foot is full of ligaments which do the heavy lifting. But since ligaments don’t receive blood flow, they can be slow to repair themselves after injury. This means it can take someone a long time to recover from a simple strain, if it is a ligament that is strained.
Your feet are complex systems of muscles, bones, and ligaments that help you walk and balance. The forefoot, midfoot, and hindfoot connect to the leg muscles, providing the landing pads for every leg motion.
The foot is one of the most complex structures in the human body. Remember that modern technology and robots are still trying to recreate the human foot. Legs aren’t a problem for robots, but foot motions and sensitivity are notoriously tricky.
I hope that this article on the parts of the foot was useful! If you are interested, visit the health facts page!