Consisting of 26 bones, 33 joints, 112 ligaments and controlled by 21 intrinsic and 13 extrinsic muscles, the human foot is both a fixed and flexible structure. Made up of three distinct sections; forefoot, midfoot and hind foot, it provides a structure that allows for the complex movements required for both weight bearing support, flexibility over uneven surfaces, and as a rigid lever for propulsion. One of the main functions of the foot is to provide shock absorption during walking/running and distribute that shock through various regions of the lower limbs. This distribution can vary depending on the arch of the foot. A firmer high arch will transmit more of the force through to the tibia, fibula and femur while a flat arch creates more force going into the foot directly and transmits less up to the rest of the lower limb. People with extremes at either end of the spectrum will be more prone to injury or chronic pain. Ultimatly our foot undergoes a great deal of stress to allow us freedom in our movement and is one of the first structures that will start complaining when you've been pushing it too hard.
What Causes Foot Pain
Trauma or disease are the most likely causes of foot pain but we are all born with different feet and we all walk with slightly different styles. Each persons individual movements can sometimes create problems in not only the foot, but further up the bodies kinematic chain, from ankle to hip to back. Even the type of footwear we choose can create its own problems.
At any time there is ongoing pain or tenderness in a specific region your body is telling you that there's a problem that needs to be addressed. Consider when you feel the pain, is it affected by weight bearing, or is it changing the way you walk? Take a look through our list of problems a foot can experience and see if you relate to any of the symptoms listed*
*The information provided is for general education purposes only and should not be used to formally diagnose a problem. Please see a licenced healthcare professional for individual advice.