The Foot: Anatomy of Knees, Lower Legs & Feet


Each foot has*

  • 26 bones
  • 19 muscles
  • 33 joints
  • 107 ligaments

* Source: Allison Schleck

Plantar Fascia

The plantar fascia is a fibrous ligament-like structure that runs from the calcaneus [heel] to the base of the toes. Lifting (extending) the toes tightens the plantar fascia and deepens the arches. – Ray Long MD


Medial Arch

  • This is the one most commonly referred to
  • Runs along the inner side of the foot
  • Deeper than the lateral arch

Lateral Arch

  • Runs along the outer side of the foot
  • Shallower arch
  • Main weight-bearing surface of the foot (Ray Long MD)

Transverse Arch

  • Runs along the base of the toes
The Triangle Formed by Connecting the Arches

If we were to connect the dots to create these arches, we would look at three points: one at the heel… a second at the base of the big toe… and a third at the base of the little toe… This triangle outlines the three arches… This is a pretty sophisticated structure, and we shouldn’t be surprised. For thousands of years, arches have been a very strong and powerful way of building structures. – David Keil

Gaining Awareness of Arches

Gain awareness of these important structures by gently inverting and everting the feet and flexing and extending the toes in various poses. – Ray Long MD