The foot and ankle provide support and shock absorption to the rest of the body, this requires a great deal of adaptability as well as stability. Feet and ankles do so much for us yet rarely get noticed, but when they do begin to cause pain, they can make it hard to have a comfortable and productive day.
Shock absorption occurs at the foot and ankle via complex movement across the various structures involved, and the adaption of the joints and structures above them. This means that changes in the foot and ankle can have effects on the knees, hips and low back.
The vast majority of ankle injuries are sprains to the outside of the ankle. This is due to the relative lack of stability in the structures on that side of the ankle. Many of us have sprained an ankle and needed very little recovery time, maybe a few days to get over it, however ankle sprains can range from the innocuous to the severe and debilitating with as many as 40% of them going on to become chronic problems. Depending on the severity of the sprain the person may need treatment ranging from some acute pain management to surgery to help repair the damaged ankle.
This condition is described as pain on the sole of the foot, usually from the heel and then inwards towards the arch of the foot, the pain is commonly worse on standing first thing in the morning. The pain may lessen as more steps are taken but will reoccur as the activity is prolonged. When the plantar fascia is mechanically overloaded, ‘microtears’ are caused where it joins the heel, producing pain. Changes in the tendon might result in the problem becoming chronic. It can be a reluctant difficult problem to be rid of but 90% of all cases resolve with effective treatment.
The Achilles tendon is exposed to extremely high loads in activities such as running or jumping, this can sometimes result in inflammation in the tendon. Usually a short-lived problem that reduces with rest and ice. However, it can become a chronic degenerative problem known as a tendinosis. If this is the case, then a carefully designed rehabilitation programme of exercise modification and strength work can help reduce the symptoms.
Shin pain is a reasonably common lower leg problem, mostly suffered by people who engage in high impact repetitive activities such as running, dancing, gymnastics, football or basketball. The term ‘shin splints’ is a catch all term that refers to all exercise inducing shin pain, of which two are most common; compartment syndrome, and medial tibial pain. Both types are usually as a result of either weak muscles in the lower leg and foot, or a sharp increase in activity.
As the foot and ankle can be a complex area to diagnose and treat, seeing our expert osteopaths can help give you can accurate diagnosis and advise you on the best type of treatment. Most ankle and foot problems can be helped by firstly understanding what loads the foot is being exposed to, then improving not only the ability of the foot and ankle to move effectively, but ensuring that the muscles in the legs and even the back have the strength and endurance to cope with the demands of that load.
Our osteopaths can use a wide range of techniques such as acupuncture, massage, joint mobilization, and carefully prescribed exercises that have been shown to be effective in helping foot and ankle problems. They can also give advice on pain control and lifestyle modification during the recovery process.
Do you want to know what is causing your pain and if we can help? Why not take advantage of our new patient assessment introductory offer to get you started towards a tailor made recovery plan for only £19.
Are you in a lot of pain and want to get better as soon as possible? If so then why not book in for a new patient consultation, with treatment on the day, for £60.
We are also there to help you from home. Take a look at our suite of exercise resources and advice sheets which you can easily download and use from home.
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At Align our focus in on providing expert, up to date care to patients in Bath and the surrounding areas to help them relieve their pain and achieve the most active life possible. Here are just a few of the ways we do this;
- We support your recovery, tailoring your treatment to your goals and a pace that works for you
- We combine exercise and hands on treatment giving you control over your recovery
- Our team of friendly, experienced osteopaths are available when you need us
- Our treatment is clinically based, practical and delivers tangible results
- We offer a low cost new patient assessment for just £19 so you can see for yourself who we are and how we work, with no obligation or risk
- We are continually researching new methods of treatment and where appropriate adapting our practices
- We can provide treatment quickly and offer an easy online booking system so you can arrange the help you need when it suits you
Still unsure? Don’t take our word for it, read some of the feedback from patients about how we have made a difference to their lives below.