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Fun facts about our feet

Today’s post is a lighthearted yet educational one on all sorts of fun facts about our feet.

About our foot’s anatomy:

  • The foot bones are composed of 3 sections: the toes or phalanges; the long bones in the middle or metatarsals; and the third section, known as the ankle bones or tarsals.
  • There are 14 phalanges in the toes.
  • The big toe is also called the Great Toe or the Hallux and is composed of only 2 bones, while the other 4 toes have 3 bones or phalanges.
  • The outer edge of the foot is called the lateral surface and the inner edge the medial surface.
  • The top of the foot is called the dorsal surface, while the bottom of the foot, the part that touches the ground, is called the plantar surface.
  • The calcaneus bone is what’s most commonly referred to as the heel bone.
  • Each of our feet have 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and 10 tendons.
  • The skin on the soles of our feet can be up to 20 times thicker than the skin elsewhere on the body.
  • Each foot has 26 bones, which accounts for ¼ of all the bones in our body.
  • Our spine has 26 vertebrae which is the same number of bones we have in each foot, which accounts for 25% of all the bones in our body.
  • Our feet are ticklish because our feet have more sensory nerve endings per centimeter (like  7000 nerve endings) more than any other region on the body.
  • The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body.
  • Toenails are modified hairs made of a tough protective protein.

Other neat stuff about our feet:

  • When we are born we have no arches in our feet; arches only start to develop when we begin to learn how to walk.
  • It can take about a year to regrow a toenail. The rate at which they grow depends on factors like – age, gender, diet, and exercise. Toenails grow faster in hot weather.
  • Most people have one foot larger than the other; it’s rare for both feet to be the same length.
  • The soles of our feet cannot tan, but they can burn.
  • Morton’s Toe is the name given to the condition where the second tow is longer than the big toe. About 20-30% of the world’s population has this condition.
  • Our feet are the body’s natural shock absorbers.
  • Each foot has approximately 125,000 sweat glands, meaning the average person can create a ½ pint of perspiration per day, and up to 22 litres of sweat in just one shoe every year. Bacteria in the sweat, not the sweat itself, causes smelly feet.
  • The average person walks over 110,000 to 115,000 miles during their lifetime, enough distance to walk around the world 4 times.
  • On average we put about 900 pounds of pressure on our feet with each step we take; when running our feet withstand 5 times our weight.
  • Our feet may be as much as 5 to 10 percent larger at the end of the day, hence the best time to buy shoes so they aren’t too small.
  • Even though the science of prosthetics has created some amazing foot aids, the complexity of the human foot and ankle is hard to replicate.
  • Women are more likely to develop foot ailments than men, about 4 times more likely because they wear high-heeled and pointy toed shoes. 80% of North Americans over the age of 21 have reported having a foot ailment, where a sprained ankle is the most common one reported, then comes plantar fasciitis, corns and calluses.
  • Having extra toes is technically known as polydactylism.
  • And, feet function best in their bare natural state.

In conclusion, Only 2 in 10 people take note of their foot health on a regular basis. The health of our feet mirrors our general well-being, so pain associated with our feet can often be warning signs of more serious health conditions. Call me today so I can soothe your aching tootsies, through the restorative benefits of reflexology!


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