The anatomy of the foot
The foot is composed of 26 bones and can be divided into the forefoot, midfoot and hindfoot. 33 joints provide mobility between the individual limbs. More than 114 tendons and ligaments enable the complex functionality of the foot during upright gait. In addition, a finely fanned out network of nerves and blood vessels runs along the sole and back of the foot.
The foot arch
The foot has a longitudinal arch and a transverse arch. They are braced by muscles and tendons between the metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe, the metatarsophalangeal joint of the little toe and the heel and serve to absorb shock when walking. The shape of the arches varies from person to person and is strongly dependent on the foot musculature.
Bracing of the longitudinal arch:
• plantar aponeurosis
• ligamentum plantare longum
• musculus flexor hallucis longus
• foot's short muscle group
Bracing of the transverse arch:
• musculus tibialis posterior
• musculus peronaeus profundus
• Foot muscles
Small toe base joint
|Together they 'wrap around' the middle foot like a stirrup from the inside and outside and hold the arch up.|
Function of the Arch of the Foot
The foot is the first point of contact between you and the earth. With a healthy foot in normal position, the transverse and longitudinal foot arches perform an important cushioning function. The entire body weight must be supported by the foot when walking, and at the same time the peak loads on joints such as the knee, hip and spine must be reduced. To do this, the arches of the feet sink when they make contact with the ground with each step due to the load experienced and rebuild through muscle tension.
Biomechanics and cycling
As the arches of the foot descend, the foot fatigues and direct power transmission to the pedals is reduced. Excessive movement of the foot in the cycling shoe can lead to nerve and vascular constriction, resulting in paresthesias or numbness.