Knowing the basic structure of your feet can help you have a better understanding of how our feet work and move. Feet help us get around to where we need to go and to keep our balance, so naturally, they are very important. Did you know that the human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than hundreds of tendons and ligaments? Ligaments are responsible for holding bones together and to stabilize our joints. Tendons connect our muscles to our bones. Our feet are truly complex and perfectly designed.
Much like tendons and ligaments, the foot has hundreds of muscles. The muscles in your feet all have specific purposes. Our toes have flexor and extensor muscles, just like in fingers. These muscles help power movement and manage balance. However, there are a few specific muscles that create motion and affect the feet greatly.
The soleus muscle is in charge of helping us to walk and stand. This muscle is located in the back of the knee, then extends to the heel of our feet. The soleus is a very powerful muscle and important for using force on the ankle joint.
The abductor hallucis muscle is the muscle that moves your big toe, as well as helping to form your arch and balance. This muscle can be found in the inner side of the foot, running from the big toe to the heel.
This muscle is what helps give motion to your feet when moving them from side to side, which is right at your ankle joint. The tertius muscle is located on the lower side of your foot, near the ankle.
The brevis muscle helps move your foot downward, as well as helping you do basic motor functions. When walking across an uneven surface, you activate your fibularis brevis. This muscle extends along the outer portion of the foot and lower leg.
This muscle is responsible for letting you move your foot sideways and to flex it downward. For example, when needing to kick a soccer ball or to push down on the gas pedal.
The human foot is truly an amazing structure that gives us the freedom of movement and balance. The combination and mechanics of the bones, joints, tendons, and muscles all work together.