The foot and ankle have an overlooked importance when it comes to the movement of your body. Aside from helping you walk, run, hop, jump, skip etc, it also bears the weight of your entire body when you are upright.
This is why it can be a real challenge to get relief from the discomfort of your symptoms. But there is hope!
Our sports physiotherapists are experts at diagnosing and treating your condition so that you can get back to enjoying life again.
Common foot and ankle conditions that physiotherapists manage
- Ankle Sprains: This occurs when the ligaments supporting the ankle are stretched beyond their limits and tear. These injuries are painful and lead to difficulties walking or standing.
- Achilles Tendinopathy: This condition causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the Achilles tendon that connects the heel bone to the calf muscles.
- Achilles Tendon Rupture: This occurs when there has been a tear/rupture in the tendon connecting your calf and heel, often requiring surgery to repair.
- Plantar Fasciitis: This is a condition affecting the fascia (thick band of tissue) in the sole of your foot that connects the heel to the toes; and is usually affected by load and incorrect footwear.
Common causes of foot and ankle pain
The common causes of foot and ankle pain range from overuse due to too much activity, incorrect footwear, poor biomechanics, nerve compression from bones out of alignment, or swelling from inflammation.
In a recent study, a total of 3861 total musculoskeletal injuries were recorded. Of these, 1035 were foot/ankle injuries (27%).
Can a physiotherapist help with foot and ankle pain?
A physiotherapist can help you manage your foot and ankle pain through education, manual therapy, taping, bracing, or refer you for orthotics to improve your symptoms.
All the sources of pain need to be identified for our physiotherapist to help you manage your condition effectively.
Conservative care may involve education and lifestyle modifications, as well as activity modifications such as taping techniques to support injured tissues during exercise or sport participation.
In doing this, our physiotherapist will also provide education on how you can prevent the pain from coming back again.
What is good for foot and ankle pain?
The best immediate form of treatment to manage your symptoms is to follow the RICER (rest, ice, compression, elevation, referral to a specialist) principle. You can do this for 10 or 20 minutes at a time every hour.
Once you book an appointment to see one of our experienced specialists, they will use advanced hands-on techniques, to identify and treat your specific condition and design a treatment plan that best suits your needs.
Physiotherapy treatments for foot and ankle pain
A key component in our physiotherapy assessment for any lower limb injury is a biomechanical assessment. This essentially involves assessing how you walk or run to define how your injury occurred, and what structures are involved. From there, we treat the injury and look at ways to prevent it reoccurring.
Use of ice or heat packs, massage, taping, bracing, shoe inserts are some of the many treatment options that our physiotherapists can provide to relieve your pain.
Dry needling is an advanced treatment modality that may also be used as part of your treatment plan.
This involves inserting needles into an affected muscle in order to stimulate somatosensory receptors within the muscle, potentially treating pain and restoring function.
The musculoskeletal system is a complex one and the feet and ankles are continuously at work to support you as you stand, walk, jump or run.
Our physiotherapists specialise in the diagnosis, management, and rehabilitation of foot and ankle pain relief.
Our physiotherapists may use a variety of manual techniques to help improve the function and movement patterns throughout your foot and ankle.
This will help improve the function of your foot and ankle while reducing any pain you may be experiencing.
If you are currently suffering from foot or ankle pain, then get in touch with us today at the Australian Sports Physiotherapy Clinic and book an appointment!