Ankle and Foot Pain – our feet and ankles are pivotal in keeping the rest of the body stable and mobile, as they absorb the impact of walking, running and jumping, and ensure that we can stand without putting unnecessary pressure on other muscles or joints. The feet contain almost a quarter of the body’s bones, as well as hundreds of connective ligaments and tendons. Combined with the complexity of the ankle joint, both are very susceptible to injury, with the ankle being the most commonly injured joint.
We want to help keep you on your feet with our extensive knowledge and treatment options for feet and ankle pain. Like with any other part of the body, we should listen to our feet and notice the changes we may feel. Are your feet feeling more fatigued? More sore? More swollen? Regardless of the issue, our Physiotherapy team will be able to help you!
Primary Function of our lowest weight bearing joints
The main function of the feet and ankle is to provide stability as we move around, whether on the sporting field or during activities of daily living. The feet and ankles assist in supporting the body’s weight, ensuring other joints such as the hips and knees are able to function properly.
The feet and ankles are also one of the most vital components of posture and balance, as their stabilisation assist the rest of the body. Through the anatomy of the foot, the sole of the foot enables other joints to keep stable without overextending.
Foot and ankle pain can happen suddenly or slowly over time. It can then impact heavily on our day to day function and quality of life, interfering with sport, exercise, work and daily activities. The exact cause, type and location of the pain is always unique to each individual, which means there is no single ‘fix’ for all pain around the foot and ankle. Given that the exact cause of your pain can be quite complicated, it is important that a thorough assessment is undertaken by your physiotherapist to ensure any underlying issues are addressed. This enables a solution to be found that works for you, provides long term relief and stops the issue from re-occurring.
Physiotherapy can help you with your foot and ankle pain through education, hands on techniques and personalised, targeted exercise programs. As experts in functional movement we assess, diagnose and treat movement related disorders and help you to recover from injury. Pain should not have to limit you from participating in what you enjoy.
For most ankle related pain, a short period of reducing or modifying high impact or weight-bearing activities can be helpful in the early interim, especially in instances where tendinopathy or acute episodes of arthritic related pain are present. Alternative activities such as bike riding or swimming can be safe and even beneficial during this time, however should be advised by a health professional before commencing. Depending on assessment findings, other specific non-weight bearing strengthening exercises may be prescribed that include theraband resisted movements of the ankle joint.
It is always important to have your ankle pain properly assessed so that we know exactly what the cause is and what the best management strategies for you will be.