The foot is a marvel of engineering

The foot is a marvel of engineering. Each foot has 26 bones, 100’s of ligaments, muscles and tendons. All of these elements have to function together in a very precise way so that we can walk, run and carry out a whole range of activities. The foot is a finely tuned biomechanical masterpiece as it has to co-ordinate all those anatomical structures so that it can function efficiently and without problems to carry out those activities. The foot did evolve to have those functions on a soft ground and not wearing shoes, so a few flaws potentially crept in as foot was placed into footwear and was forced to walk and run on the hard concrete surfaces. Small flaws that were not previously a problem started to show up in those shoes and on those hard surfaces. It is this that is responsible for so many of the problems that health professionals see in the foot today.

For example, one of those problems is a concept known as supination resistance. This is considered as the force that is needed to raise the arch of the foot. If that force is high, then the muscles and tendons have to work harder and the ligaments have more strain on them. This can lead to pain in those structures and the development of a progressive flat foot. If that force is high, walking and running also requires more energy and can be very fatiguing. If that supination resistance force is too low, then it will be easy to raise the arch of the foot. This could result more ankle sprains as it is so easy to tip the foot over to cause that. From this it should be clear that a fine balance is needed between too high and too low amounts of force which is a good illustration of just what an engineering marvel the foot is and just how easy it is for something to go wrong.