Healthy FeetThe health of your feet is of primary importance to your overall health. The mobility and function of the feet have an enormous effect on the rest of our body, they can literally reshape the physical structure of our whole body.
The Effects of FootwearA major factor in many of today's pains and ailments of the feet arise directly from the use of poorly designed footwear. Through the use of poorly designed footwear excessive compression forces and mobility restriction of the feet can occur which in turn creates misalingment of the bones in the feet. This in turn changes the tone and balance of all the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the feet, causing pain and misalignment throughout the rest of the body. Imagine what would happen to your body if you had an item of clothing that radically altered your natural structure. For example, a shirt that was designed to force a hunch in your back, rolling the shoulders forward, collapsing the chest and straining your neck. You would probably want to throw it away as soon as possible before it could cause negative and lasting structural changes to your body. In a similar fashion, we are doing exactly this to our feet every time we wear poorly designed and incorrectly fitting footwear. The feet are unique in that they are our only body part that regularly experiences excessive restriction and misalignment during normal daily activities.
Each foot consists of:
- 26 bones with 33 joints (making up one-quarter of the body's bones)
- Over 100 muscles, tendons & ligaments (site of the strongest tendon in the body)
- Over 200,000 nerve endings (densest concentration in entire body)
- Over 250,000 sweat glands (expel 1 pint of sweat per day)
- A network of blood vessels
- So a lot can go wrong when footwear changes the balance in the feet.
The primary cause for most foot problems arise from incorrectly designed footwear. By limiting the movement of the calcaneous joint the natural spreading of the tibia and fibula is restricted and the flexor muscles of the leg begin to tighten. With compression across the toes we loose the abiltiy to spread the base of our foot and restrict the movement throughout the medial and lateral arch. Heel height misaligns the structure all by itself and the trendy cutout in the side of some shoes limits the load bearing capacity and function of the 5th metatarsal.