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Foot Anatomy- Sole Survival

Feet are a masterpiece of design, complex structures that contain a remarkable array of bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves all designed to allow you mobility, balance, speed and sensory function. 

The Anatomy of the Foot

  • Bones: Each foot contains 26 bones, including the tarsal bones, metatarsal bones, and phalanges (toe bones).

  • Joints: There are 33 joints in each foot, including those between the tarsal bones, metatarsal bones, and phalanges, as well as the ankle joint.

  • Ligaments: The feet contain 112 ligaments that connect the bones and help provide stability. Some of the key ligaments include the plantar fascia, deltoid ligament, and lateral ligaments of the ankle.

  • Tendons: There are over 100 tendons in the feet, including the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone, and the peroneal tendons, which run along the outer side of the foot and ankle.

  • Muscles: The feet contain over 100 muscles that help control movement and provide support. These include intrinsic muscles, which are located within the foot, and extrinsic muscles, which originate outside the foot, but act on it.

  • Nerves: The feet are innervated by a network of nerves, including the tibial nerve, peroneal nerve, and sural nerve, which provide sensory and motor function to the foot.

The importance of understanding the anatomy of a foot

​Understanding the anatomy of the foot is essential for maintaining foot health and addressing common foot problems like aching feet because it allows individuals to identify specific areas of the foot that may be affected. For example:

  • Knowing the structure of the arches can help determine if flat feet or high arches are contributing to foot pain.

  • Understanding the role of tendons and ligaments can help in recognizing conditions like plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis.

  • Knowledge of the bones and joints can aid in identifying issues such as arthritis or stress fractures.

Overall, a detailed understanding of foot anatomy enables targeted prevention and treatment strategies for various foot problems, leading to better foot health and reduced discomfort.

Bare Feet
Fun Fact:  Feet endure more wear and tear in a lifetime than any other body part.

On average, a person can exert between 100,000 to 150,000 pounds of cumulative force on their feet over the course of a  single day. This means that each foot can bear approximately 50 tons of weight daily, highlighting the remarkable strength and resilience of the anatomy of the foot. The heel pad and arches of your foot function as natural shock absorbers, helping to cushion and reduce the impact of each step.


However, it's important to note that excessive pressure or repetitive stress on the feet can lead to foot problems such as plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and other related issues.

Aching Feet?  Embrace herbs with an herbal foot soak

Revitalize tired, aching feet with our Aches Away herbal foot soak. This soothing blend is specially crafted to target the anatomy of the foot, easing foot pain & discomfort. Made with a combination of  7 traditional Chinese herbs known for their healing properties, our foot soak is perfect for relieving aching feet from the strains of the day. Treat yourself to a relaxing foot soak and say goodbye to aching feet and foot problems.

When should you see a podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a medical professional who specializes in diagnosing, treating, and preventing foot and ankle disorders. Podiatrists undergo extensive training, including four years of undergraduate education, four years of podiatric medical school, and several years of residency training.


Founded in 1912, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), headquartered in Bethesda, MD, is the leading resource for foot and ankle health information. Currently, the organization represents a vast majority of the estimated 18,000 podiatrists in the country.

You should consider seeing a podiatrist if you experience any of the following:

  1. Persistent foot pain or discomfort.

  2. Difficulty walking or performing daily activities due to foot problems.

  3. Changes in the appearance or structure of your feet, such as swelling, redness, or deformities.

  4. Signs of infection, such as fever, redness, warmth, or drainage from a wound on your foot.

  5. Chronic conditions such as diabetes or arthritis that can affect your foot health.

  6. Need for specialized foot care, such as custom orthotics or footwear.

  7. Foot injuries, such as sprains, fractures, or sports-related injuries.

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