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Sole Matters: Exploring the Importance of the Foot & Ankle

Sole Matters:

Exploring the Importance of the Foot & Ankle

If you can’t already tell by our logo, facebook, and instagram posts- we specialize in the foot and ankle as it pertains to optimal health and function.

Sarah and Ashlyn both had events in their life that led them to dive deeper into learning more about foot and ankle function. Basically, recurrent injuries and pain in their feet that they wanted to go away and NEVER come back.

It’s been 6 years and Sarah and Ashlyn can both say the pain is far, very far, and very few between. I mean pain is expected to occur from time to time when you are an active human. We know that. But, the fact of the matter is that we aren’t limited to what we can do about it anymore.

The foot is the most under treated and overlooked area, in our opinion.

The feet have been anatomically designed to help us walk, run, climb, skip, jump, and balance...just to name a few. We evolved to function on two legs, that wouldn’t have been possible if there was something inherently flawed about the design of our feet. 

The foot has 28 bones. This includes the 2 sesamoid bones of the foot. The foot is made up of 33 joints. There are over 100+ muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the foot too. 

Now that you know this, aren’t you like “WOW, that’s crazy!”

With all of this being pointed out...what’s even crazier is that we think that we need to shove our feet into shoes (most that aren’t designed to fit the shape of our feet by the way) and support them with all kinds of orthotic inserts. We wouldn’t have evolved to be such high functioning bipedal organisms if we were born with a need like this.

But anyways...

The goal is to have you understand your feet and your body better.

Your feet (and hands) are extenders of the brain. This means there are A LOT of nerve endings located here. It also means sensory feedback is important. Your body relies on the foot’s reaction with the environment as it hits the ground to produce a chain reaction for what happens next. This means as the foot strikes the ground, for instance when you’re walking, it needs to be able to FEEL what is happening to help produce muscle contractions up the leg and body in order to well... keep you walking.

Ever heard the saying- “When the foot hits the ground, everything changes.”

(There is also a book about this.. "When the feet hit the ground everything changes" (1984 edition) | Open Library)

When AND how your foot hits the ground can affect SO much.

Our foot is broken up into three parts.

Forefoot, Midfoot, and Hind foot.

Ideally you want to hit the ground with your hind foot -> then shift over to full foot -> and push off through your big toe. The accurate timing of the many muscle contractions in the foot and then up the leg to propel you forward depends on stimuli from your gait pattern, as well as the ability to FEEL what is happening on the bottom of your foot. When you can’t feel what is happening or your joints can’t move as intended, the ideal gait pattern described above will be altered and this can lead to pain and injury. 

A recent article stated “In their lifetime, the average person walks approximately 100,000 miles.”  That’s a LOT of steps. Unfortunately, all too often, we do not place the same emphasis on looking after our feet as we do on other parts of our body.

Sarah and Ashlyn believe keeping your feet healthy should be a part of your daily routine. Think about it- our feet are basically “our vehicle.” They get us from point A to point B by keeping us mobile and independent. So why don’t we talk about this more? Why aren’t we prioritizing this more? 

If you feel weird talking about your feet- you should probably get over that, yesterday.

Sarah and Ashlyn are the healthcare professionals that are changing the game by addressing any current problems and introducing preventative measures. In the clinic, they treat the person, not just the diagnosis. They look at movement from the ground---> up. Got foot pain? We can fix it. Got any pain? Let us check out your feet!

Show some love to your feet today. 



Resources:

Foot Anatomy, Physiology, and Common Conditions (verywellhealth.com)

Foot and Ankle Structure and Function - Physiopedia (physio-pedia.com)

The Importance of Proper Foot Function                       – Dr. Tom Kano, Chiropractor (drtomkano.com)

Why Are Your Feet So Important? (toyourhealth.com)