Characteristics Of The Human Foot

The design of the human  foot has particular features that allow us to walk upright without effort.

If at any time you have wondered why the toes are shorter compared to those of the hands, this feature allows us to run.

Comparison of fingers and toes

The human foot is composed of 3 arches; And although, it is more common to hear about the internal arch, due to the flat foot issue . Since if this arch is not present, it is determined that the person has flat feet , these 3 arches are important in the same proportion; Knowing the function of each one of the arches has allowed science to develop feet for prostheses .

Various studies that speak of the biomechanics of the foot have also allowed the development of various tools for the assessment and diagnosis of foot conditions , such is the case of the design of the baropodometric study , which analyzes the distribution of weight on the sole of the foot , which it is influenced by bone alignment and muscle activation from the rest of the body.

A factor that distinguishes us from primates is the transverse arch, according to the team of researchers from the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom, the transverse arch (the horizontal curve that crosses the top of the foot) is an attribute that was not previously had taken into account and that it contributes to more than 40 percent of the stiffness of the modern human foot. This upper arch is allied with the medial longitudinal arch, a more studied arch located on the bottom of the foot . Together, they contribute to the rigidity of the human foot , which allows us to propel ourselves without falling and distinguishes us from other primates that need more flexible feet to cling to tree branches (Richards 2020).

“We have been aware of the presence of the transverse arch for a long time, but we have never had a way to measure it and we did not know how it influences the general function of the foot . This adds to our knowledge of how the unique shape of the human foot enables our unique bipedal locomotion,” says Nicholas Holowka, an associate professor of anthropology at the University at Buffalo (New York) who studies the evolution of the human foot .

The feet, in the same way that the hands have a variety of bones, specifically the foot is made up of 26 small bones of different sizes and shapes in order to carry out the various movements necessary to be able to stand, jump, walk, run and others. further.

Characteristics of the human foot

The proper functioning of the foot depends on the bones and muscle activation, stability of the ligaments and tendons. If any of these elements fail, the movements are affected, causing changes in both statics and dynamics.

The absence of a medial longitudinal arch in flat feet can place stress on other parts of the body and cause foot pain. There was a time when having flat feet was an immediate rejection in the military (Richards 2020).

As mentioned on other occasions, the relationship between the feet and the rest of the body influences the shape and predisposition of the feet when walking or standing, for example: when there is genu valgus or varus this can be observed in the way As the foot rests on the ground, people with genu valgus usually tend to have more support on the inside of the foot and people with genu varus put more weight on the outside of the foot .

Thanks to the study of the biomechanics of the foot , these and other correlations have been identified in order to treat them with conservative treatments ( insoles, orthopedics , orthopedic shoes, splints, etc.), and in the most severe cases with invasive and surgical procedures


by Abdullah Sam
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