Do You Take Your Feet For Granted?

The feet are probably one of the most underappreciated parts of the body for most people. They are frequently maligned for being smelly and unattractive even though they work harder than almost any other part. For many of us, the only time our feet get attention is when they are hurting or otherwise causing problems.

But if you think about it, feet have a pretty important role in our lives. For those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to use them daily, they carry around our full body weight, often for hours at a time. If we run or jump, they are required to absorb the shock of that added impact. Our feet have 33 joints that allow for varying degrees of movement, 28 bones and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments all encased in a network of fascia (connective tissue) working together to support the movement capabilities of our bodies. There are also many sensory nerve endings and pressure points that provide the body and brain with different stimuli so they can function optimally.

Problems begin when we stop using our feet to their full capacity. From the first pair of shoes we were told to wear, our feet started their lifelong deterioration. Most foot wear prevent our feet from working properly. Shoes with a heel that is higher than the toe will change the way the foot functions and put unnecessary stress and strain on the whole body. The higher the heel, the more the strain. This heel elevation affects the rest of the body as it is required to adjust itself to a different position when standing and walking. The more frequently the body is required to be in these positions, the less likely it is able to return to its original neutral position, thereby compromising the joint functions in the knees, pelvis and spine.

Wearing shoes is similar to having casts on our feet, especially if those shoes are intended to provide extra support for those who have regular foot or ankle pain. Orthotics are also not a great solution because they prevent the foot from working properly even more than shoes can. If your foot is constantly supported by an external source, how will it ever be able to function properly without it?

These solutions to foot pain are actually preventing your feet from functioning properly. They don’t allow the joints in your feet to move much, the soft tissue begins to atrophy from lack of proper use and the sensory functions are severely limited.