An introduction to feet – The human foot is a complex structure, where the ankle serves as a foundation, shock absorber and propulsion. The foot sustains enormous pressure alongside providing flexibility and resilience.
The foot and ankle contains
- 26 bones; a quarter of the bones of the human body
- There are 20 muscles in the foot that give the foot its shape by holding the bones in position and expand and contract to impart movement.
- 33 joints
- More than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments and a network of blood vessels, nerves, skin and soft tissue.
- The largest and strongest tendon of the foot is the Achilles tendon, which extends from the calf muscle to the heel. Its strength and joint function facilitate running, jumping, walking up stairs, and raising the body onto the toes.
These all work together to provide the body with support, balance and mobility.
A structural flaw or malfunction in any one part can result in problems elsewhere in the body. Conversely, abnormalities in other parts of the body can lead to problems seen within the feet.
Good care of the feet is, therefore, a key part in human efficacy and wellbeing.
Every year in the last week of September reflexologists around the world organise events to celebrate World Reflexology Week, to promote awareness of the wonderful therapy and the feet.
Reflexology is a complementary therapy that is based on the theory that different points and areas on the feet, lower leg correspond with different areas of the body. Reflexology is an ancient therapy which has been practised for over 5000 years and it is believed that working these points or areas can help aid relaxation, improve mood, release tension, enhance sleep and can generally help improve wellbeing; allowing us to cope better with the stresses that life can bring.
Foot injuries are common and because they affect mobility, they can have significant effects and so are important in management. To get the right treatment, you need to know the problem. The first thing to consider is where your pain is located. Sports Injury Management at Level 4 and 5 is effective in treating injuries of the foot, in particular rehabilitation around the injury to minimise joint restriction and to maintain good movement levels elsewhere. If an injury has developed over time and is not down to a speciﬁc incident it is likely that it is an injury developed over a period of time due to the accumulation of repetitive small levels of trauma.
Reflexologists and Sports Therapists are required to meet a high competency and level which covers the breadth of foot anatomy, giving the skill, knowledge and ability to work at the levels demanded. Does this interest you? If it does take a hop on over to our Reflexology Diploma and Sports Massage Diploma pages to delve a little deeper. – An introduction to feet