The foot and ankle carries the whole weight of the body and is susceptible to arthritic changes as well as sports injuries, especially with impact exercise. Tendinitis and ankle sprains are common injuries that worsen without adequate intervention.
The human foot is made up of 26 individual bones forming 33 joints and held together by strong ligaments and fibrous sheaths to maintain the structure. The foot is attached to the lower leg by the ankle joint, which is a hinge between the shin bone (tibia) and the fibula (thinner bone next to the shin).
Foot and ankle conditions can vary immensely. From acute injuries like ankle sprains causing ligament damage to more chronic conditions like arthritic toes and collapsed arches.
Ankle injuries can be treated differently from each other. The first priority when treating any condition is to reduce inflammation and swelling if present. Some fractures require off-loading by the use of boots, orthotics or crutches but with most other injuries, the most effective outcome occurs with continuing to try to use the ankle in normal functional activities such as walking. Try to stay away from impact exercises until you have had a full assessment with a physiotherapist.
Ankle inversion injuries are common place, especially in sport. The structure of the ankle joint is such that it is very easy to go over it. This can lead to overstretched or torn ligaments which can cause pain, swelling and weakness in the surrounding muscles of the ankle and leg. Swift treatment is essential to prevent chronic pain and problems that can impact on functional activities. Ask us about a specific strengthening rehabilitation programme tailored to your specific needs that can see you back to your sport as swiftly as possible.
Tendonitis typically means inflammation of the tendons. Achilles tendonitis is a common sporting injury that can be described as an overuse injury. Overloading the Achilles over a short period of time with high intensity exercise, such as training for a marathon in a short space of time, can lead to pain, tightness and lack of strength in the calf muscles. Achilles tendonitis, if left untreated can lead to a higher risk of tendon tears and reduction in overall power and function in the calf and ankle muscles. If you think you may have tendonitis of your Achilles, book in for an assessment and some advice on how to manage your symptoms and return to your sport pain free.