Foot Terminology: Anatomic terms for location of body parts and

motions are necessary for a variety of reasons. We can not simply say
"outside of the toe" because not everyone will agree on which part of the
toe is the "outside." Although it may seem simple to refer to the "top of
the foot", as soon as the foot moves or is rotated or has a deformity, the
top of the foot is no longer on top. Medical professionals need a uniform
way to describe both locations and movements.

Definitions: Anatomic Locations

Medial means towards the center line of the body.

Lateral means away from the center line of the body.

Distal means further from the body.

Proximal means closer to the body.

Anterior means the front of the body

Posterior means the back of the body

Dorsal means the top of the foot

Plantar means the bottom of the foot
foot orientation image
Looking at the foot diagram above, the big toe is medial and the little toe
is lateral. The toes are distal to the midfoot and the midfoot is distal to
the heel bone. The heel bone is proximal to the toes. The toes are also
considered anterior to the midfoot and the heel sits posterior to the
midfoot.

Definitions: Motions of the foot and ankle

Dorsiflexion: movement of the foot up.

Plantarflexion: movement of the foot down.

Abduction: movement of the foot away from
the center line of the body.

Adduction: movement of the foot towards the
center line of the body.

nversion: twisting movement of the foot
inward.

version: twisting movement of the foot
outward.



Supination and Pronation

$upination and pronation are a combination of the above motions. It is
common to use supination and inversion interchangeably and pronation
and eversion interchangeably. But, supination is actually a combination of
inversion, plantarflexion and adduction. Pronation is a combination of
eversion, dorsiflexion and abduction.
Supination is a triplanar
motion involving the foot
moving down and
towards the center of the
body.


Pronation is a triplanar
motion of the subtalar
joint involving the foot
moving up and away
from the center of the
body.




To better understand supination, look at the right foot in the image
below. The heel rotates towards the center of the body, the big toe moves
towards the center of the body, the foot flexes down and the ankle rolls
out.


To better understand pronation, look at the right foot in the image
below. The heel rotates away the center of the body, the little toe moves
away from the center of the body, the foot flexes up slightly and the ankle
rolls in.


To understand these motions while standing, try this with your own feet.
$tand with your feet parallel and facing foward. Rotate your body and
look over your left shoulder, without moving your feet. Your left leg has
rotated out (external leg rotation) and your weight will be on the outside
of your left foot. Your left foot is supinated. Your right leg has rotated in
(internal leg rotation) and your weight is on the inside of your right foot.
Your right foot is pronated.

ait Cycle

Contact Heel Strike: The beginning of the gait cycle is marked by the
heel contacting the ground. This is called heel strike.

Forefoot contact: The forefoot contacts the ground, stabilizing the foot
and the body.

Midstance: When the weight of the body is directly over the foot. The
opposite foot is swinging from the rear of the body towards the front of
the body.

Heel Off: When the heel starts to lift from the ground, the weight shifts
to the front of the foot. The opposite foot has made contact with the
ground.

Propulsion/ Push off: Also called toe off, this phase is the terminal
stance phase of the gait cycle, which means that the foot is pushing off
the ground and will be entering the swing phase (swinging from the rear
of the body to the front of the body).



During the normal gait cycle (normal walking) the feet supinate and
pronate. It's important to understand that pronation is a normal motion
when walking. When the feet pronate too much, this is when people
experience problems like plantar fasciitis, tendonitis and painful arches.
An abnormal amount of supination can cause also cause problems. When
the foot supinates too much people may develop tendonitis and joint
problems at the forefoot and big toe joint.















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