The foot is designed to cope with enormous pressure (several tons over the course of a one-mile run). The foot and ankle contain 26 bones, 33 joints, more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments and a network of blood vessels, nerves, skin, and soft tissue.
These all work together to provide the body with support, balance, and mobility. A structural flaw or malfunction in one part can result in the development of problems elsewhere in the body.
As with many other parts of the body, problems in the foot are usually caused by injury, wear and tear, bone disease or congenital flaws. Environmental factors, such as poorly-fitting shoes, high-heeled shoes or running and walking on flat, hard ground can all damage the foot.