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LegTastic – all about legs

If you thought you knew something about your legs, this page will make you think again

A part of LegCyclopedia, the Leg Encyclopedia.

How little we know about a part of our body that adds so much to our lives!

If there’s one part of the body that all of us should know a lot more about, it is our leg

This section contains 100s of facts about legs – covers valuable, interesting, remarkable and sometimes unbelievable information about every part of the leg. (A separate section answers 100 interesting questions on human legs)

Trust us, you will never look at your leg the same way once you finish reading this page. Your legs would have gained more respect, more admiration and perhaps a lot more awe – something they richly deserve.

So here we go!

  • Anatomically Speaking
  • Sizes & Dimensions
  • Legs & People
  • Running & Walking
  • Footwear
  • Toe Tales
  • Surprising Stuff about Legs
  • LegTube – some amazing videos about legs and those without legs
  • Interesting Facts about Leg Diseases & Ailments
  • Legs of Animals & Birds

Anatomically Speaking…

A person walks about 8000-10000 steps a day, about 6-8 Kms (an average adult step is about 2 feet or 0.6 m). Assuming a  lifetime of about 80 years, this translates to over 200,000 Kms of walking over a lifetime. If you are a heavy walker, you would have walked over a quarter million kilometers during your lifetime. Sounds incredible, doesn’t it? But true.

But let’s make it sound even more incredible. The circumference of the earth is about 40,000 Kms (40075). Which implies that, the total distance an average human being would have walked over her/his lifetime is the equivalent of circumnavigating the world on foot, 5-6 TIMES!

Anything that supports such a remarkable amount of effort needs to be remarkable in itself. A human leg certainly is. Here are some interesting facts about the anatomy of the human leg that makes it so useful and remarkable.

  • The leg has the longest muscle in our body – The body’s longest muscle is the sartorius. It is a strap-like, narrow muscle which runs all the way from the hip to the knee. This is indeed a fascinating muscle – just imagine a muscle that starts from your hip and crosses the front of your thigh, and continues down until it inserts near the inner part of your knee, and that’s sartorius for you. This muscle is also known as the tailor’s muscle and for an interesting reason. Because of its structure and position, the muscle helps to flex and rotate your hip and flex your knee. If you were to sit with one leg crossed over the other, you have the sartorius muscle would be working. As this position (one leg over another) was often adopted by early day tailors, the sartorius also got called the tailor’s muscle. More details on this useful muscle and an interactive image for you to visualize it from all the angles from this page at VeryWellHealth.
  • And also the longest and strongest bone – The femur, or thigh bone, is the largest, heaviest, and strongest bone in the human body. It runs all the way from your hip to your thigh (technically, starts at the pelvis and ends at patella or kneecap), and is the only bone supporting the thigh region. More important, femur is the bone that forms the main supports for the upper body weight, and hence it can be considered the main weight bearing bone. Imagine a house and the importance of a strong framework and beams that support the weight of the house – the importance of femur for our body is no less. The length of a femur is almost a quarter of the person’s height! Here’s an excellent resource on all the bones in our legs and feet from Innerbody.
  • Male & female legs – The male and female legs are different. The males have longer tibial and femur length. However, the greater tibiofemoral angles and hip anteversion are found on the female legs. Could this be the reason that the female legs look far more enticing than male legs, one wonders.
  • A human foot is quite intricate – A human foot & ankle is a strong, intricate structure that contain 26 bones (including 5 long bones called metatarsals), 33 joints, 31 tendons, 19 muscles, and 107 ligaments. The joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons hold the structure together and allow it to move in a variety of ways. When they are out of alignment, so is the rest of your body. By the way, the 52 bones in our two feet make up one quarter of all the bones in our body. Here’s an excellent animation video of the foot anatomy.
  • Our feet is full of nerves and glands – Humans have nearly 8000 nerves in their feet. A pair of human feet also contains about 250,000 sweat glands, and these excrete as much as half a pint of moisture each day. In fact, the soles of our feet contain more sweat glands and sensory nerve endings per square centimeter than any other part of the body. Here’s an excellent video on foot reflexology that shows how application of appropriate pressure to specific points and areas on the feet can produce significant benefits many other parts of the body. This is mainly because of the concept that the foot, divided into reflex zones is representative of many parts of the body. (A couple of good web resources that guide on how foot reflexology works with easy to understand pictures – Link & Link )
  • Flat feet – If your whole foot touches the floor when you stand, you have flat feet. Young children usually have them, because their foot bones, tendons, and ligaments haven’t yet formed arches. It’s normal for some people to never develop arches, but flat feet can cause pain. On the other hand, well-aligned flat feet can be helpful, because they support the body’s weight over a bigger area. An interesting stat is that 25-30% of the people worldwide have flat feet, a lot many more than one would have assumed. In most cases, having flat feet is harmless. Here’s an excellent, detailed page on flat feet from Medical News Today.
    • But a question arises: Why do we need arches in our foot? Why can’t they be flat? Well, the arches provide help distribute body weight across the feet and legs in an optimal manner – When correctly aligned, your foot arch will support 6 times your body weight! The arches are also instrumental in providing the spring to our step  In fact, the structure of the arches determines how a person walks!
  • Feet of babies and children
    • Feet full of cartilage when we are born – At birth, the bones in our feet are mostly cartilage (an elastic, a rubber-like padding that covers and protects the ends of long bones at the joints). They completely harden only around age 21.
    • Children’s feet – Children’s feet reach about 90% of their adult length by the time they are 12 years old.
  • Toe full of nerves – There’s a reason stubbing your toe hurts so much – Toes are loaded with numerous nerve-ending receptors called nociceptors that are highly sensitive to actual and potential tissue damage. Nociceptors are present in other parts of the body too – here are two interesting reads – read 1 and read 2 – on nociceptors with one of them explaining the exact mechanism of how a pain from a stubbed toe travels to the brain.
  • Thick skin on the soles – The skin on the soles of your feet is thicker than elsewhere on your body. The need for protection has made this skin thicker through evolution. The cells in this part of the foot divide more frequently in response to pressure and friction and this allows the skin to thicken and create a protective barrier. In cases where too much pressure or friction has been applied, it can trigger excessive thickening, resulting in hard skin or callus. For the anatomically inclined, here are some images of the epidermis of a thick skinned sole.
  • Our knee is a complex structure – A human knee is a very complex joint comprising cartilage, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and it is here that three bones come together – namely the fibula and tibia (lower leg), and the femur (thigh). It is not just another joint, it is the largest joint in the body and also the most intricate: like the elbow, it is a hinge, allowing the joint to bend and straighten. However, the knee joint can also rotate slightly, mostly when the leg is bent, owing to the workings of the hamstrings, the sartorius (the longest muscle in the body) and the biceps muscle (the leg not the arm variety). Here’s a detailed animated tutorial on the anatomy of a knee.
    • Knee houses a unique type of bone – The kneecap is an example of sesamoid bone: a bone that is strangely buried within a tendon or muscle (other examples of sesamoid bones are found in the wrist, foot and hand). The kneecap protects the joint, and, by attaching to the quadriceps muscle (‘quads’), helps knee straightening.
    • And while we are on kneecaps, do you know that you were born without one? – Babies are born without kneecaps. Babies’ kneecaps are made up of soft cartilage (connective tissue) that hadn’t yet ossified into bones. Their “true” kneecaps don’t show up until somewhere between two and six years of age. Here’s a detailed explanation from Healthline on the question of babies and kneecaps, and why indeed they are not born with kneecaps. (By the way, babies have far more cartilage than others do in many parts of their body, and these ossify into bones only over a period of time)
  • A cement truck is on you every day – During an average day of walking, the forces on your feet can total hundreds of tons, equivalent to an average of a fully loaded cement truck. Just reflect on how well our leg’s anatomy has evolved to handle these!
  • Some great links on leg anatomy:
    • Everything you have been wondering about the anatomy of your leg muscles – a very valuable read – from Shape.com
    • Muscles of the leg & foot – a crisp, visually well presented web resource on every muscle in our legs and feet – from Inner Body

Sizes & Dimensions

Legs and feet come in all sizes and shapes. That shouldn’t surprise you. But your two feet could themselves be different from each other – that should surprise you a bit. And well, tell you what, the same foot could be different in the evening as compared to morning. Not that’s a fact. Read on, and you will know that we are not pulling your leg.

  • Standing out when standing up – The average foot gets a bit longer when a person stands up.
  • Two feet, two sizes – For many people, one foot is slightly larger than the other. Up to 60 percent of the population doesn’t have feet of the same size, and 80 percent of these have a larger left foot. But this doesn’t mean they should wear different sized shoes.
  • In the morning our feet are smaller, really – In the evening, the volume of a human foot usually increases; the difference in the morning and evening sizes of the foot can reach up to 8%. Therefore, if you want to buy new shoes, do it in the afternoon.
  • Foot sizes and widths are increasing – Feet are spreading to support extra weight as our populations pack on the pounds. According to a 2014 study by the College of Podiatry in the UK, the average foot has increased two sizes since the 1970s. As people have grown taller and heavier, feet respond by growing. It appears many people are still in denial about their expanding feet, though: Though retailers are starting to respond by making larger and roomier shoes, half of women and a third of men reported they buy poorly fitting shoes. Podiatrists say ill-fitting shoes are to blame for a significant portion of foot problems, especially among women.
  • Your toe length matters – If your second toe is longer than your first toe (that’s the case for an estimated 20 to 30% of Americans), you’re at increased risk for bunions, hammer toes (ones that are bent downward), and even back problems due to how you distribute pressure throughout your body. This is because all the weight should push off your first toe, but when the second one is longer, it rolls and flattens, causing all kind of foot problems. If you do have this condition (called Morton’s toe), talk to your podiatrist about the best kind of footwear for the shape of your feet, since ill-fitting shoes make the condition worse.
  • Beware women of your shoes and heels – Every 2 cm of the heel height increase the pressure on the toes by 25%. If you wear shoes with 2 ½ inch heels, the pressure on the ball and pad of you feet increases by 75%. Imagine how much greater that pressure is in 3 or 4 inch heels? Added to this, about 90% of women wear shoes that are too tight. Therefore, problems with feet occur four times more often in women than in men.
  • Lady, mind your size – 9 out of 10 women wear shoes that are too small for their feet. A study by the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society found from a survey that 88% of American women wearing shoes that were too small for their feet, and this alone resulted in foot pain for many of them.

Legs & People

Until now, you would have only had one thought when someone said “Look at the legs”, if you are a man especially. But there’s a lot more to look at in peoples’ legs.

After reading the following, you may start staring at legs a lot more times – but we gently warm you to do it subtly!

  • Long legs – Svetlana Pankratova from Russia, is thought to be the woman with the longest legs in the world at 132 cm. Well, that was until 2017 when the Guinness Book of World Records declared Ekaterina Lisina, again from Russia to be the woman with the longest legs in the world, with her right leg measuring 132.5 cm (here are two videos of Eketarina – video 1 & video 2 and a detailed report about her . And while we are on long legs, here’s a Guardian analysis on why women and men find long legs attractive – appears that there’s something more fundamental about this than just cosmetics.
  • Longest feet – As of the year 2020, the record for the world’s largest feet among the living is held by 22-year-old Jeison Orlando Rodríguez Hernández of Venezula, whose feet measure in at 40.55 cm (1.33 ft) and 40.47 cm (1.32 ft), U.S. size 26. The typical adult male feet sizes are 24-26 cm, so Hernandez’s feet are almost 80% longer than average! An avid basketball player, Hernandez not surprisingly admits that he’s had trouble finding shoes that fit since childhood. Here’s a nice story on the big foot young man.
    • By the way if you thought 40.5 cm of foot size was big, just listen to this: The record for the biggest feet ever goes to the American Robert Wadlow, whose feet measured about 47 cm (about 18.5 inches each). Nor surprisingly, he was super tall as well, at 8 foot 11. Unfortunately, he died young – born in 1918, he lived only until 1940. Read more about this giant among men from this Wikipedia article.
    • If that was about men, the woman with the longest feet is Julie Felton from the UK, whose feet measure about 30.5 cm. She typically wears men’s shoes because she can’t find any women’s shoes of her size. This can be a real challenge on special occasions, as can be seen from this news report on her desperation to find a pair of shoes for her wedding!
  • Super expensive legs – Michael Flatley, the former dancer, musical and choreographer, famous for being the star of Riverdance and later Lord of the Dance (Wikipedia article on Michael Flatley), had his legs insured for a whopping $57 million in 1999. And since then, celeb leg insurance instances have only increased – Tina Turner ($3+ million), Heidi Klum ($2 million), Mariah Carey (an unbelievable, reported $1 billion), Rihanna ($1 million), Taylor Swift ($40 million) – Sources – Elle, CR Fashionbook
  • Left & right did not matter until George IV – George IV (1762–1830) is said to have been the first person to wear a pair of shoes specially tailored for his right and left feet.
  • Stalin’s toes were webbed – Joseph Stalin suffered from syndactyly, where multiple digits are fused together (though it appears that he was not the only notable to have this). In layman’s terms, the toes (or fingers) are webbed. There’s no evidence that the condition causes any problems, nor does it improve swimming ability, as might be expected.
  • Ever heard of a leg funeral? – In 1836, Mexican General Santa Anna held an elaborate state funeral for his amputated leg. Well, the Mexican appears to be have been quite a character, and here’s the colourful story behind the leg funeral.
  • And da Vinci has to be here too! – Leonardo da Vinci is said to have invented an alarm clock that woke the sleeper gently by rubbing his feet. Some even claim this is the first alarm clock ever, though this history of alarm clocks doesn’t consider his invention worthy of mention.
  • And while we are discussing people, do you know that a person’s feet can say a lot about what they think, perhaps even more than what their faces can? As a former FBI spy catcher says in this interesting article in Psychology Today, we focus so much on a person’s face while trying to understand him or her that we completely ignore their legs and feet. Many interesting examples are provided on how a person’s legs and feet can provide vital clues about their thoughts and feelings.

Running & Walking

We take walking for granting, hardly giving it a thought. There is so much more to it.

And if you are a runner or someone how does heavy hitting exercises, how many times would you have looked at those just walking for an exercise and thought “Lazy sods!”. Well, they might be smarter than you are. Read this section for more such surprises.

  • Running & leg muscles – Running will form leg muscles faster and better than any other form of exercise since running uses ALL of the leg muscles. Each single muscle in the legs is use.
  • Walk is easier than standing – Why is standing still more tiring than walking? Walking helps circulate the blood. It’s the increased difficulty in circulation when you are standing that causes exhausted feet.
  • Just walk it – Walking is the most affordable and safest form of exercise. That is why doctors often prescribe walking as a primary means of medical training. Walking is also the best exercise for your feet. It contributes to your general health by improving circulation and weight control. Some researchers believe that walking is even better than jogging in terms of its effect on the body.
    • And just in case you think walking is a lazy-man’s exercise and that its health benefits are limited, you should read this news report, an eye-opener that will make you walk a lot more in future.
  • Go bare! – Going barefoot, especially on wet grass, soil, or sand, known as “earthing,” is excellent for your feet, joints, and other health benefits.

Footwear

Something as basic as footwear is expected to have a long history, and so it does.

  • Shoes have had a long history – Humans have worn shoes for a very long time. Humans started using foot coverings about 40,000 years ago, according to researchers. Older specimens had thicker, stronger toes, likely from gripping the ground as they walked barefoot. The first foot coverings were probably animal skins, which Stone Age peoples in northern Europe and Asia tied around their ankles in cold weather.
  • History of shoe sizes – Shoe sizes were devised in England by King Edward II who declared in 1324 that the diameter of one barely corn- a third of an inch- would represent one full shoe size. That’s still true today.
  • The oldest shoes – The oldest pair of shoes was found in Armenia during the excavations of Areni cave in September 2008. The finding dates back to the Chalcolithic period (3,600-3,500 BC). Those were soft pointed shoes that practically did not differ from the shoes worn in Armenian villages not so long ago.
  • A shoe museum – With such a long history, it is only natural that footwear should have museums dedicated to them. Interestingly, there do not appear to be too many of them, and in North America, where one would expect such museums to flourish, reports say that there’s only one shoe museum that is located in Toronto. This museum showcases shoes spanning over 4,500 years.
  • Birth of sneakers – Sneakers were first made in America in 1916. They were originally called keds.
  • Men & women shoes – In Europe it wasn’t until the 18th century that women’s shoes were different from men’s.
  • Heels on shoes – Ironically, Western women started wearing heels to effect a more masculine look: European men adopted the look from Persian warriors in the 17th century, and women soon followed suit.
  • And in Middle East… – In the Middle East heels were added to shoes to lift the foot away from the burning sand. A more practical reason to have heels, in our opinion!
  • Buy the way
    • The best time to buy – The American Podiatry Medical Association says buying shoes is best done during the afternoon. Your feet tend to swell a little during the day, and it’s best to buy shoes that fit then.
    • The two feet may be different sizes. Buy shoes for the larger one.
    • Every time you purchase shoes, you should have your feet measured . . . while standing.

Toe Tales

Some of the best things are found at the very end, it is often said. This is very true of our legs – one of the most useful and remarkable parts of our legs are our toes. We think of them only when we hurt one of them. Toes are far more fascinating than just being a pain in the toe.

  • The toe was originally a thumb! – The big toe used to be a kind of foot thumb. This grasping toe helped our predecessors climb trees and, when young, grip onto their mothers. Thanks to modern science, if you lose your thumb, you can now replace it with a toe: toe-to-thumb transplants are a surprisingly common procedure these days.
  • Toenails grow slow – Compared to fingernails, toenails grow much more slowly – about 1 mm a month (compared to 0.1 millimeter per day for fingernails). Fingernails and toenails grow faster during hot weather, pregnancy and teenage years. By the way, toenails are structurally modified hairs made of a tough protective protein.
  • Morton’s Toe – About 20-30% of the world’s population have Morton’s Toe, a foot condition in which the second toe is longer than the big toe.
  • An extra toe – About 1-2 of every 1000 children born are reported to have an extra toe.
  • Toe-tally – The Guinness Book of World Records currently lists a tie for the most number of fingers and toes at 25. Two Indian boys, Pranamya Menaria and Devendra Harne, each have 12 fingers and 13 toes thanks to polydactilism, a congenital condition that results in extra digits. Polydactilism occurs in about one in every 500 births and can be treated. Marilyn Monroe is rumored to have been born with an extra toe on her left foot, but the proof is iffy.
  • As thick as toenails – As we get older, our toenails tend to thicken, making them hard to trim. This happens because toenails grow more slowly as we age, causing the nail cells to accumulate. Stubbing toes, bad shoes, and dropping things on your feet can also cause thickening, as can fungal infections and peripheral arterial disease, which narrows arteries and reduces the blood flow to limbs.
  • Stubborn toenail fungus – If your toenails have started to discolor or are becoming thicker and more brittle, chances are fungus is to blame.
  • Toes can replace your fingers – Since fingers and toes are both digits, they should be interchangeable, right? Well, in toe-to-hand surgery, toes can be used to replace missing fingers. The method was first used on humans in 1975 and is now widely used. Not every finger can be replaced, but often the big toe can be used for a missing thumb. They do this in a procedure called a toe-to-thumb transfer in which they replace injured or severed thumbs with big toes. While it sounds a bit weird, it’s a life-changing operation that can significantly improve people’s quality of life
    • In fact, it is said that the Egyptians knew how to replace toes with fingers – Toe prosthetics could date back as far as 3,000 years. Explorers found a mummy in Egypt with a leather and wood contraption that is believed to be a prosthetic toe. The “Cairo Toe” dates back to between 1069 BC and 664 BC and predates the earliest known prosthetic by at least 700 years.
  • Toe wresting, anyone? – If you can arm wrestle and thumb wrestle, doesn’t it just make sense that you can toe wrestle. Since 1993, the English village of Wetton has played host to the World Toe Wrestling Championship, a contest with too many toe puns to repeat. Contestants simply lock toes in a ring, then try to push each other out in a three-round toe-down (get it?). Despite the cult popularity of the sport, it was rejected by the IOC when organizers applied for inclusion in the Olympics. The sport was dominated in the last decade by Paul Beech, who nicknamed himself “The Toeminator.”
  • No toes, no woes – Not having a toe won’t stop you from getting around. While your gait may become uneven, losing a big toe—or even two—won’t prevent you from running, walking, or dancing. It will take some getting used to, but your feet are remarkably adaptable even without big toes.
  • Toe prosthetics – Humans have been figuring out ways to work around faulty toes for centuries, and hence, not surprisingly, toe prosthetics dates back to the Egyptians – about 3,000 yeas ago, ancient Egyptians are supposed to have developed the first functional prosthesis: an artificial big toe. Researchers found a wood and leather prosthetic of a big toe on the mummified foot of a 50- to 60-year-old woman who had undergone a toe amputation. Dating to the first millennium BCE, it’s known as “the Cairo Toe.”

Surprising Stuff about Legs

Every part of the human body has a number of surprises hidden in it, and our legs are no exception. For instance, who would have thought that someone would make it a profession to sniff at people’s feet!

  • Feeling ticklish in your feet is a good sign – There’s a good reason for that: Humans have nearly 8000 nerves in our feet and a large number of nerve endings near the skin. Having ticklish feet can be a good sign: reduced sensitivity can be an indicator of neuropathy.
  • Your big toe and genitals are neighbours…in your brain  – The somatosensory cortex of your brain receives sensory information from all over the body. The part of the cortex that receives input from your feet happens to adjacent to the area that receives information from your genitals. This proximity might explain foot fetishes – Some brain and cognition experts theorize that theorize that foot fetishes could possibly result from a cross-wiring in the brain between the foot and the genital sensory centers.
  • Feet loved by mosquitoes – Research shows that mosquitoes prefer biting people with smelly feet. Now, this is perhaps not so surprising!
  • Surprising connections – A misaligned spine, lower backache, headaches, indigestion, and other health issues can be traced to problems with your feet.
  • Women = Men x 4 – Women have about four times as many foot problems as men; lifelong patterns of wearing high heels often are the culprits.
  • Around the world four times – The American Podiatric Medical Association states the average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, which add up to 115,000 miles in a lifetime – more than 4 times the circumference of the globe.
  • 5600 feet sniffed – Madeline Albrecht holds the world record for sniffing at most feet – she sniffed in all 5,600 feet during her job that involved feet sniffing. Yes, you heard it right, her job was to sniff  When you realize there’s a job that at feet – surely now you will be grateful about your job.  In the 15 years that Madeline worked for an Ohio lab that tested Dr. Scholl products, she sniffed more than 5600 feet and untold numbers of armpits. She still holds the Guinness World Record for the number of feet and armpits sniffed (yes, there is a category for this in the Guinness World Records!).

Some amazing videos about legs – and about those without legs!

As a notable said, “I was complaining about loss of hair in my leg pain until I saw a person with no legs”. You will be amazed after seeing some of the videos of people with no legs perform acts that those with legs cannot even imagine.

People without legs – but with a lot of motivation and talent
  • Inspirational Athlete Born Without Legs Learns Childhood Idol Is Her SisterWatch video
  • Limbless PlayStation Gamer Uses Chin And Shoulder To PlayWatch video
  • WHY I Can Walk With NO LEGS On My STUMPS!Watch video
  • This Actress Was Born Without LegsWatch video
  • Born Without Arms and Legs – Nick Vujicic Inspires Millions of PeopleWatch video
  • The woman without legs who became an equestrian champion – BBC NewsWatch video
  • She without arm, he without leg – ballet – Hand in HandWatch video
  • Life Without Limbs: Zuly Sanguino’s Extraordinary StoryWatch video
  • Best Motivation by a Man with No Arms & No Legs Watch video
And some other amazing things about the legs in videos
  • It’s not fair having 12 pairs of legs | Aimee Mullins – Athlete, actor and activist Aimee Mullins talks about her prosthetic legs — she’s got a dozen amazing pairs — and the super-powers they grant her: speed, beauty, an extra 6 inches of height … Quite simply, she redefines what the body can be. Watch video
  • Amazing – archery with legs – Watch video
  • Woman with the lonnnnnn…gest legsWatch video
  • My Secret to Sexy Legs – Leg Hacks RevealedWatch video
  • I’ve Got America’s Longest LegsWatch video
  • Never Cross Your Legs: 5 Reasons WhyWatch video
  • Not My Legs ChallengeWatch video
  • The Three Legged Man Prank Watch video

Interesting facts about leg diseases & ailments

Leg pain and leg diseases form a large proportion of all diseases. But this section is not about them directly – that would require a separate site. This section is about unknown, interesting and many times useful facts about the leg diseases and ailments.

  • Feet offer clues to your overall health – Leg and foot ailments can become your first sign of more serious medical problems. For example, if the hair on your toes suddenly disappears and the skin on your feet gets thinner or shiner, peripheral arterial disease (PAD)—poor circulation caused by a buildup of plaque in the leg arteries—may be to blame. PAD is a major red flag for heart problems or a stroke because clogged arteries in the legs are usually associated with blockages elsewhere in the body. Also look out for extremely dry skin and foot ulcers that don’t heal; they may be triggered by undiagnosed diabetes since high blood glucose levels decrease sweat and oil production.
  • Venous problems – Over 50% of men and women worldwide suffer from some type of vein problem including varicose and spider veins in their lower extremities. Just imagine, one in every two adult has some sort of a venous problem in their leg.
  • Knee swellings – ‘Housemaid’s knee’ and ‘clergyman’s knee’ are terms for swellings at the front of the knee caused by excessive kneeling.
  • Gout often begins in the big toe – Gout, a form of arthritis where sharp uric acid crystals build up in the body, frequently appears first as pain and swelling in the big toes, though researchers aren’t entirely sure why this is. Though long known as the “disease of kings” because it afflicted those with access to rich food and drink, gout is increasingly beginning to become common among  commoners too.
  • Yoga and legs – In yoga, the “legs up the wall” pose not only relieves tired or cramped legs, but it also eases anxiety and stress.
  • Importance of cushioning your feet – Typically in a person’s 30-40’s, the natural fat pads on the bottoms of the feet made from collagen & elastin gradually thin out, causing foot pain by the end of the day unless properly cushioned footwear is worn.
  • Dancing on toes can hurt – Ballerinas are famous for their incredible ability to dance “en pointe,” or on their toes. The technique requires not just strength in the digits, but also support throughout the body to stay straight. Not surprisingly, though, dancing en pointe carries a great deal of risk with it, and can result in a long list of potential injuries such as tendonitis, dermatitis, hammer toes, stress fractures and bunions.
  • The most common sports injuries – Ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries in sports. Because the inner ankle is more stable than the outer ankle, the foot is likely to turn inward from a fall (ankle inversion) which results in an ankle sprain.
  • Smelly shoes – it’s just not your fault! – Our feet have approximately 250,000 sweat glands, which produce about 400 ml of sweat per day. In fact, sweat does not have the pronounced smell that sometimes shoes are marked by. Socks and shoes are the perfect warm and moist environment for bacteria that cause a bad smell.

Legs of Animals & Birds

  • Horses’ leg curse – When horses break their legs, they usually have to be euthanased. The main reason for this is that horses immediately tend to put stress on the broken leg, so it can’t heal.
  • Elephants can’t jump – An elephant is the only land mammal that cannot jump – its bodyweight is simply too much for any joint to survive that impact.
  • Some taste it with feet – Butterflies taste with their feet, gannets incubate eggs under their webbed feet and elephants use their feet to hear – they pick up vibrations of the earth through their soles.
  • Does a centipede really have 100 feet? – Although centipedes have been extensively studied for more than a century, not one has ever been found that has exactly a hundred feet. Some have more, some less.
  • Squirrels and dogs have sweaty feet – Their sweat glands are between the footpads and paws between toes, and as result when they get hot or excited they leave wet tracks.

Coming soon…

  • Sections on legs and mythology, legs and spirituality…

(During this stressful period of COVID-19, here’s our research review of the uncommon and unusual symptoms of corona virus disease.)