Feet are one of the wonders of the world. The average person’s feet will carry them 128,000 km during their lifetime—more than three times around the earth. This sophisticated machinery is made up of 26 bones, 33 joints and an intricate network of muscles and ligaments.
Weight dissipation is massive, with each foot required to absorb and dissipate 2 times your body weight when walking, 3 times your body weight when walking down hill and 5 times your body weight when running. Netballers have been recorded to incur 8 times their body weight through their landing foot on receiving the ball.
The leg and foot work as one unit. Therefore when the feet do not work the right way, abnormal forces are applied to the muscles and tendons of not just the feet but the legs, pelvis and back. Any abnormal distribution of weight-bearing forces is repetitive, with the average person walking 7km per day, or approximately 3500 steps per foot! Eventually, this will result in compensation, adaptation and, unfortunately, pain.
So, it is easy to see how a faulty foot can cause hip pain or, similarly, a bowed leg can cause foot or knee pain. Because of this, podiatrists look at the whole leg structure when assessing your foot problem.
Foot pain can be caused by interference with any of the structures—bone, tendons, ligaments or muscle and, in some cases, nerves or blood vessels.