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Go forward to understand human feet



Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Scientists have made a step forward in understanding the development of human feet.


Unlike species like chimpanzees that have contradictory digits on their feet, humans have developed curved feet to improve erect gait.

These arcs were believed to be supported by plant's internal muscles (PIM) ̵

1; but a study by the University of Queensland and the University of Exeter shows that PIM & # 39; has a "minimal effect" on this.

The results show that foot muscles are important to help us push the ground while walking and running. This suggests that strong foot muscles could be the key to our ability to walk and run.

"Recent research suggests that muscles in our feet are the key to how the foot works during walking and running," says lead author Dr. Dominic Farris, of the University of Exeter.

"Our study provides direct evidence of the importance of these foot muscles to support the performance of the human foot."

"Contrary to expectations, PIMs minimally contribute to supporting the arch of the foot during walking and running.

" However, these muscles influence our ability to propel forward one step into the next. "

] To test PIM's, the researchers compared foot and lower limbs movement with and without a nerve block that prevented contraction of these muscles.

During ground contact and running, the stiffness of the arch was not altered by the block. indicating that the PIM's contribution to arc support is minimal, probably due to their small size, but with the PIMs blocked, the distal joints of the foot could not be adequately stiffened to provide normal ground pressure.

"This could have an impact on understanding relationships such as flat feet, the value of foot muscle training, and ideas about potential benefits of running barefoot," said Dr. Farris. 19659015] "It turns out that these muscles are not important for supporting the arch of the foot, but they are important for driving us forward when we walk or run. "


Explore further:
The runner's feet have the ability to adjust

More Information:
Dominic James Farris et al., "The Functional Importance of Human Foot Muscles for Bipedal Movement" PNAS (2018). www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1812820116

Journal reference:
Attempts by the National Academy of Sciences

Provided by:
University of Exeter


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