Human Feet – A Feat of Engineering

The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.” – Leonardo da Vinci

The human foot is a strong and complex mechanical structure containing 26 bones, 33 joints and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

The foot has two longitudinal arches and a transverse arch, which are maintained by the interlocking shapes of the foot bones lashed together by over 100 different ligaments, also assisted by the pull of muscles and tendons during movement. The slight mobility and elastic mechanics of these arches enables them to absorb and return energy during contact with the ground and this spring-like function is an important energetic saving mechanism.

(Fascinating Fact: Podophilia or foot fetish is one of the most common fetishes.)

The phalanges form the bendable toes. The calcaneus forms the heel bone. In between are the slender metatarsals and the irregular interlocking blocks of the tarsal bones, which could be the design of a master mason the way they ingeniously fit together into an arch.

When it goes wrong
Given the complexity of the foot and the demands made on it, it is astonishing that it functions for many people, throughout life, as well as it does.

Common problems include:
Fallen arches
Sprained ankle
Achilles tendonitis
Plantar fasciitis
Nerve inflammation
Calluses and cracked heels

Many of which can be alleviated or prevented by simple measures and exercises.

In my classes this week we will do some yoga based techniques for the feet and related areas, as well as a few foot care tips.

“Our hands and feet are biomechanical marvels. More than any other piece of anatomy, they are what have made us such a successful species.”

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