Foot & Ankle Pain
Our feet and ankles are complex and can be prone to injury or complication, especially as we age, or we take up a new activity or sport. It has been found in recent studies that a staggering 1 in 5 people suffer from some sort of foot and ankle pain, aching or stiffness.
Our experienced Ace Certified Practitioners can help you cure your foot and ankle pain by performing:
- Visual assessment of your foot posture and structural alignment
- Dynamic gait analysis of your lower leg mechanics and how it relates to your body
- Physical assessment of the muscular strength in and around your foot and ankle
- Manual therapy to relieve muscle tightness and pain and improve joint function
- Orthotic prescription to help offload pain areas and realign your body into neutral
- Exercise and strengthening to improve your overall strength or target areas of weakness
- Advanced Taping to support your feet and stabilize your foot and ankle
- Dry Needling to reduce muscle spasm, tightness and pain
- Collaboration of our multidisciplinary healthcare team to evaluate and improve all aspects of your health and wellbeing
What types of foot & ankle pain do we treat?
There are many different areas of the foot and ankle that can present with pain and with each area, a range of possible causes.
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body, it connects your calf muscle to your heel bone and undergoes stress whenever you’re walking, running, climbing stairs and jumping. Therefore, it is prone to tendonitis and tendinopathy — conditions associated with overuse and degeneration. You may be more likely to develop Achilles tendonitis depending on your footwear, the surface you run on, your foot posture or your calf strength and calf muscle length. Treatment for Achilles tendonitis usually involves an in-depth assessment of your activity history, your foot posture/strength, possible footwear/orthotic modifications, hands-on manual therapy and a carefully formulated exercise program to improve your flexibility and strength. Exercise has been shown to be an integral part of “healing” and reducing Achilles pain in both Achilles Tendonitis and Achilles Tendinopathy.
The arch of your feet has an enormous amount of pressure running through it every time you take a step. Therefore, the structures that have the mammoth task of upholding your arch can sometimes become inflamed and cause arch pain. Some of the many causes of arch pain include plantar fasciitis, flat feet and peroneal tendonitis. Fortunately, arch pain is very treatable, and most clients see results very quickly after obtaining the proper treatment. After a detailed holistic assessment, treatment for arch pain can involve but isn’t limited to manual therapy, orthotic therapy, footwear advice/modifications and strengthening programs.
Your heel is your first point of contact with the ground when you are walking or running, and therefore endures the weight of your body with every step you take. Due to the complex anatomy of the foot, there may be a wide range of possible causes behind generalised heel pain. Some of the more common causes include plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, stress fracture, fat pad bruising and bone spurs. Our team can narrow down the possibilities with gold standard assessment techniques and target what is causing your pain, formulate a treatment plan and get you walking pain free.
Your toes are responsible for the ‘push off’ stage of walking, which propels your body and shifts your momentum into the next step. Due to the slim nature of the bones and tendons in this part of your foot, they are prone to impact injury and are the most likely places in the foot to suffer from stress fractures. They are also susceptible to other injuries and complications that can cause an ‘aching’ pain that just won’t go away. By completing a thorough assessment of your history, foot posture, footwear and strength, our practitioners will formulate an appropriate treatment plan to help you return to pain free exercise.
What can cause foot & ankle pain?
Below are some of the most common causes of foot and ankle pain.
After an injury people will begin to experience longstanding pain that they didn’t have before. This pain arises due to damage and inflammation that has occurred because of the injury. In the foot and ankle, the most common injury we see is a rolled or sprained ankle. Although rolling your ankle may appear as minor at first, causing manageable pain, this pain can worsen without the right advice and proper treatment, causing chronic conditions that are harder and take longer to treat. Lateral ankle sprain is more common than Medial ankle sprain due to the anatomy of the ankle ligaments. Common treatment of a sprained ankle includes relative rest, manual therapy (massage and muscle energy techniques), taping to offload problem areas and strengthening regimes to reinforce your injured structures.
When your body doesn’t move as smoothly and easily as it’s supposed to, foot pain and complication can result. Poor foot and ankle alignment can cause a range of conditions such as plantar fasciitis, arch pain, heel pain and Achilles tendinopathy. In fact, due to the strong link between the alignment of your feet and the alignment of the rest of your body, poor foot posture has a direct correlation with back and hip pain.
The importance of correcting your foot posture cannot be overstated and at times is the sole reason you are experiencing pain. The most typical way our Podiatrists correct your foot posture is through orthotic therapy, strengthening with exercise programs and footwear advice tailored specifically for your needs.
Mismanagement of your exercise and activity levels can put your foot and ankle through unnecessary amounts of stress, causing nasty and unwanted foot pain. Starting exercise too quickly without warming up, trying to advance to longer distances without the proper training and overloading your body are some of the most common reasons we see pain arise in the foot and ankle.
Getting the correct fit and advice for your footwear is essential in being pain free. Whilst being in the correct size is important, there are a wide variety of other factors that are equally important in ensuring you are in the correct shoe. Fixation, toe box width and depth, shoe width, sole support and arch height and grip are some of the factors that our Podiatrist will consider when picking the right shoe for your foot. Doing this correctly and effectively will go leaps and bounds in getting you moving well and pain free.
Treatment, for all types of foot and ankle pain, starts with an accurate assessment to determine the best way forward for you. Our Ace Client Care Plans are tailored to your specific needs and involve proactive treatments, the latest advice and quality products necessary to give you the fastest recovery.
Our feet and ankles are amazingly strong and congruent when treated properly and with care. They will support and align our whole body, allowing us to move freely. At Ace Sports Clinics, we work as a team to improve your quality of life and restore your freedom and ability to do what you want, when you want. Trusted internationally by the world’s best athletes, we have helped many clients recover from their foot and ankle pain. Call to book your appointment today to see how the Ace Client Care Plan can help you.