Updated: Jan 31, 2022
Ankle-foot complex plays a fundamental role in shock absorption, propulsion and balance when being upright. There are 26 bones that make up the ankle, arch, and toes making it one of the most complex areas of the body. While the bones give the foot structure, there are more than 100 tendons, ligaments, and muscles that move over these joints. Demands such as walking and running make the foot a common site for injury or disturbed mechanics. When we walk we strike the ground 2-3 times our body weight. If we multiple that by the number of steps we take in the day/week/year or even our lifetime all of a sudden that is a lot of force that the feet and body have to go through. According to the College of Podiatry, a person will walk an estimated 200 000km in their lifetime, roughly the equivalent of walking around the world six times. Good foot alignment and ankle strength and mobility are critical for gait, and balance. This is particularly important for a more mature generation who desire independence. An example of this is the ‘basic’ task to pick up their feet to walk without tripping. This requires mobility in the feet and strength in the lower legs, as well as stability in the core.