The anatomy of the foot is a triumph of anatomical engineering like the Golden Gate Bridge. Each foot is comprised of 26 bones, so together the feet contain 25% of the bones in the entire body! These bones combined with the 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and tendons give the foot its natural ability to provide shock absorption and fight incredible stresses like high heels and hard pavement.
The bones that make up your foot are the bendable toes or phalanges, the slim metatarsals, the larger tarsal bones, and finally the heel or calcaneus. These bones create 33 joints. The muscles, ligaments and tendons of the foot run along the outside of the bones forming almost a sock around the foot.
Our feet are built for movement but we have to take care of them properly to prevent many injuries including plantar fasciitis, corns, Morton Neuroma, Flat feet, Hammer toes, and fallen arches. These common problems don’t typically appear overnight. They are caused from day-in and day-out wear and tear. If you regularly wear high heels or flip flops, then you definitely want to spend some time on your dogs!
With a reflexology foot ball or tennis ball, start by rubbing along the arch and into the heel. Make sure to be gentle at first as there are many spots on the feet that can be sensitive. This helps to relieve tension in your feet and soothe the muscles in your foot. A good way to massage your own feet is by using a tool like the Foot Rubz balls, (we sell them at the studio!) or the Yamuna Body Rolling Foot Walkers. Buy them here.Another form of foot massage is Reflexology. Reflexology refers to specific points or are areas of the foot that target other parts of the body. Reflexologists utilize a chart that essentially mirrors the entire body and the belief is that you can manipulate changes in the body by massaging areas of the foot. Read more about Reflexology and research from the University of Minnesota here.
You just have to pop them on and relax! This helps to stretch the muscles, ligaments and tendons. Healthy toes are believed to improve posture and balance. They can also help improve or lessen foot pain as well as treat conditions such as bunions and plantar fasciitis.
This helps to remove dead dull skin and soften your feet. Besides feeling good and making your feet more attractive, exfoliation allows for healthier skin cells to replace the old ones you’ve scrubbed off and quickens the skin renewal process.
After a workout, run, or long day of walking, soak your feet for 5-10 minutes in warm water. This helps to soothe your tired feet as well as fight and eliminate odor. Feel free to throw in some epsom salts for some extra healing benefits.