FOOT AND ANKLE PAIN
Your feet and ankles are very complex mechanical structures that must work together in harmony in order to function at their optimal level.
The foot contains approximately 26 bones, 30 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. It is an incredible peace of engineering.
However, with the progress of our western civilisation, decreased physical activity (more driving less walking) and development of more sophisticated footwear, our feet are not necessarily better off.
We see more and more people with significant biomechanical alterations that eventually lead to chronic problems not only in the foot and ankle but the entire functional movement chain (foot, ankle, knee and hip)
The most common conditions we see :
Ankle Sprains (Rolled ankle)
Sprains occur when a ligament is stretched too far or torn. This is a typical “Weekend Warrior Injury”. The overwhelming majority of these injuries are relatively minor (grade I or Grade II) which recover really well when well managed. Good rehabilitation is very important to avoid chronic problems and repetitive sprains.
A strain or tear occurs when a muscle or tendon is overstretched. This injury is very common in sporting population, but you don’t need to be an athlete to suffer calf muscle tear. The majority of injuries are relatively minor and involve up to 25% of muscle fibres (Grade I). It can be very painful, but the recovery time is relatively quick (2-4 weeks). Grade II strains involve 25-90% of muscle fibres. Depending on the actual damage it can take 6-12 weeks to fully recover.
Plantar Faciopathy (Fasciitis )
The main clinical symptom is heel pain, particularly in the morning or after a period of rest. Often patients report improvement in pain after walking. Recent studies suggested that PF is associated with degenerative changes in the fascia. Accordingly, the disease is better characterized as “fasciopathy” than “fasciitis”, resembling the situation in overuse tendon problems. This can be a very stubborn and difficult condition to treat. However, studies have shown great results with the use of Shockwave therapy. It has been recognised as incredibly effective (around 90%) and also a safe option to treat this condition. We are proud to say that we have helped many patients with chronic Plantar Fasciopathy using a combination of Shockwave Therapy and Rehab exercises.
The Achilles tendon is the combination of tendons of the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles (calf muscles) and connects these muscles to the back of the heel. There are two types of Achilles tendinopathy :
- Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy (IAT) -The spot of maximum pain in IAT is located at the tendon-bone junction (on your heel).
- Mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy (MPAT) – the spot of maximum pain is 2 to 6 cm proximal to the insertion (above your heel)
In both cases, thecause is likely multifactorial and may include advanced age, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and steroid use, to mention only a few. Particularly in athletes the onset may also be influenced by poor training habits including excessive training, training on hard or sloping surfaces, and abrupt changes in scheduling.
Tendinopathies are very difficult to treat and require systemic approach and load management. The sooner we start the treatment and rehabilitation program the better.
If you want to find out more about tendon health, check our blog here (Link to the Tendon pain?…. )
Arthritis is a common inflammatory condition that affects the joints and results in pain; the most common types including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both types of arthritis can greatly impact the foot and ankle joints.
Ankle joint and Big toe joint are the most common places for Osteoarthritis. However, it can effect any of the joints in the foot and ankle. Rheumatoid arthritis can also effect your feet and ankles. However, it usually happens on both sides at the same time.
A bursa is a fluid filled sac that sits between muscles or tissues and bone to cushion and reduce friction. When the compressive forces become to severe the bursa can get inflamed. Hence the condition is called Bursitis.
This can be very painful and debilitating condition. Most commonly effected areas are: the heel and the area under the ball of your foot.
How can we help you to get better?
Your treatment plan will typically include a combination of specialized hands-on manual therapy techniques, exercises and stretching, in order to restore joint mobility, improve balance, and strengthen the foot and ankle muscles.
Your treatment plan may also include exercises to address predisposing biomechanical problems in your knee, hip and the stability of your lumbar/pelvic region
We will do all we can to ease your pain quickly. We will also evaluate and recommend self-management techniques and lifestyle changes. If appropriate we can refer to a podiatrist.