Foot and Ankle Pain
The human foot is an amazing complex structure required to control motion, provide feedback for balance, maintain stability and absorb ground impact forces all whilst under the full load of the body. It achieves this through an intricate structure comprising 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and 10 tendons within each foot. Amazingly, approximately a third of all the bones in the body are located within our feet. As we move, the foot and ankle must maintain both mobility and stability. This compromise makes this area particularly vulnerable to injury, for example sprains, tendinosis and fasciitis. In addition, dysfunction in the mechanics and control of the feet can exacerbate problems through the lower limb and even to the lower back or further.
Traumatic injuries to the foot and ankle are very common. A sprained ankle is probably the most commonly seen traumatic ankle injury within sport. The overstretching of the ligament(s) on the outside of the ankle results in immediate pain, swelling and difficulty walking. Early physiotherapy intervention will also improve your recovery and ensure you make a full return to all activities and sports. Interventions include taping techniques, massage, electrotherapy and progressive exercises.
Overuse injuries of the foot and ankle are very common. Pain at the back of the lower calf, commonly referred to as ‘Achilles Tendinitis’, and pain on the bottom of the heel, known as ‘Plantafasciitis’, are two of the more common areas of repetitive strain seen within the foot and ankle. These conditions often fail to recover fully simply by resting.