The foot is a highly complex functional structure comprised of:
•26 bones (One-quarter of the bones in the human body)
•More than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments
It’s fair to say that our foot is the most
complex high stress structure in the body.
In order for the foot to work properly, the bones must be the right size, length and density with adequate motion provided by joints that move smoothly. All of this must be held in the correct position by ligaments. The muscles which act on these bones must work in sequence with the right amount of power and timing. So, in summary, we have a complex structure, a high stress job to do with many component parts, this combination results in a high potential for things to go wrong…… Add to this the fact that we subject the foot to as many as 10,000 of these sequential repetitions daily. It’s little wonder that 80% of people suffer foot problems at some point in their life. Any weakness in the chain of events or structures can result in: inefficiency, compensation and pain.
The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art (Leonardo Da Vinci). Indeed the interplay and coordination of multiple systems required to achieve a single step is astonishing. Given this complexity it is not surprising that a profession specific to this specialized structure developed. Podiatrists are experts in all aspects of foot function and health. They are trained in Diabetes mellitus & other endocrine disorders, Diagnostic imaging, disorders of the Musculo skeletal system, Neurological & vascular systems. We also interpret tests/examination results (microbiology pathology radiology/imaging) and propose differential diagnoses.
The 52 bones in your feet make up one quarter of all the bones in your body.
1. There are approximately 250,000 sweat glands in a pair of feet, and they excrete as much as half a pint of moisture each day.
2. The soles of your feet contain more sweat glands and sensory nerve endings per square centimeter than any other part of the body.
3. A 2½-inch high heel can increase the load on the forefoot by 75%.
4. Many people have one foot larger than the other, so it’s best to fit the larger one while standing.
5. The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, which add up to 115,000 miles in a lifetime – more than 4 times the circumference of the globe.
6. During an average day of walking, the total forces on your feet can total hundreds of tons, equivalent to a fully loaded cement truck.
7. Walking is the best exercise for your feet. It contributes to your general health by improving circulation and weight control.
8. Standing in one spot is far more tiring than walking because the demands are being made on the same few muscles for a longer length of time.
9. Foot ailments can become the first sign of more serious medical problems. Your feet mirror your general health, so conditions like arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders can show their initial symptoms in your feet.
10. Arthritis is the number one cause of disability in America, including in your feet.
11. About 6% of US population has foot injuries, bunions, flat feet or fallen arches each year.
12. About 60% of all foot & ankle injuries aged 17 or older are ankle strains or sprains.
13. About 60-70% of diabetics will develop some form of diabetic nerve damage, which in severe forms can lead to diabetic lower limb amputation. Approximately 56,000 people a year lose their foot or leg due to diabetes.
14. Heel pain and ingrown toenails are the most common problems researched.
15. Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is a very common reason for feeling pain and burning in their feet.