The foot is an anatomical marvel in terms of its strength, flexibility and functional design. It is able to support the weight of our entire body. With every step we take, the foot must absorb a tremendous amount of force and stress. On an average day, walking can bring a force equal to several hundred tons of pressure to bear on our feet.
The foot and ankle contribute largely to our balance and proprioception, which is how we subconsciously perceive our body's position and movements. In uneven terrains, the golf course can be a challenge for individuals with foot and ankle conditions.
The ankle joint is comprised of the tibia and fibula (lower leg bones), and the calcaneus (heel) and talus (foot bone). This joint allows movement in all directions. In addition to the bones, there are several ligaments within the ankle joint that provide stability. One of the most common ankle injuries is an ankle sprain, in which one or more of these ligaments is stretched, partially torn or completely torn.
There are a total of 26 small bones in the foot, along with 33 joints and a network of more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments that work together to allow movement and stabilize our arches.
The arches of the foot are created by ligaments and are supported by a large area of connective tissue called fascia spanning the bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia is a long, thin ligament that lies directly under the skin, connecting the heel to the front of the foot.
The Achilles tendon connects our calf muscles to the heel bone and comes into play when we walk, run and jump. It is the largest tendon in the human body.
Both the Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia are susceptible to injury from overuse or strain.
The ankle and foot joints are responsible for providing a full range of motion for walking, running, pivoting and jumping.
The Achilles tendon which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone
Lateral Ankle Ligaments
Normal Range of Motion
Golfers should be able to comfortably rotate their ankle and foot in a circle in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions. Normal range of motion in a golfer's ankles allows the individual to walk the golf course and move comfortably throughout the motion of a golf swing. The golfer should have a flexible midfoot to roll in and roll out through the power phase of the golf swing.