Foot & Ankle Pain
The foot and ankle, 26 bones and 33 joints that are so often overlooked and only focused on when someone says they have pain there. The fact is the feet are the only parts of our body that interact with the ground when we walk or run. How they move, or in a lot of cases how they don't move, will directly impact on every joint above it.
When the feet are unable to move correctly, then movement is lost. Something somewhere else in our system will then either; not be able to move as well or may have to move a little more to make up for this loss. That in turn could create the same scenario for another joint, and then another joint and so on.
So with that in mind, we pay close attention to the feet and how they influence every other joint in the body.
Ankles sprains most commonly occur as either as a result of a direct trauma in sport, landing awkwardly from a jump or slipping off a pavement curb or step. The severity of the sprain will often determine how much bruising and swelling there may be. In some cases there may be very little swelling and still a lot of pain. In some cases it may be the opposite.
There are a strong set of ligaments on both the inside and outside of the ankle joint. They are there to provide stability and prevent excessive end range movement. When these ligaments are sprained, pain is usually felt either on the inside or outside of the ankle joint (depending on which set of ligaments have been damaged) but can spread over the whole foot and sometimes up into the Achilles tendon and calf muscle area.
In a lot of cases, the advice following an ankle sprain is to simply rest and ice it. Then, when the swelling has gone down, the advice is to try and stand on it to regain balance. Although this is good advice, there is so much more that should be done. The joints and ligaments need to re-learn how to move properly again in order to fully regain optimal function. This requires careful mobilisations and exercise therapy. In some cases massage and ultrasound can be extremely beneficial. Remember, there are 26 bones in the foot and ankle, and any number of them could have been affected by just one ligament sprain.
It is important to note that ankles sprains are one of the most re-occurring injuries. It is therefore vital that the appropriate treatment is started early to help re-educate the whole musculoskeletal system. As already stated, the whole body is reliant on how our feet interact with the ground so we need to make sure that they are back moving to their full potential following an injury.