By Sydney CBD Osteopath Dr Abbey Davidson
The ankle and foot play an important role in our daily lives and, therefore, pain in these areas is common for many people. The ankle is composed of the end of the lower leg bones (tibia & fibula) and the top of the foot (talus). The foot is made up on 26 bones with over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments contributing to stability and movement at the region.
The foot and ankle play an important role in balance and absorb shock with locomotion, and due to the consistent use of these areas in our everyday lives, injuries can often take a prolonged time to repair. Trauma, overuse and anatomical differences are some common causes of ankle and foot pain.
The common causes of foot and ankle pain include:
Pain in the foot and ankle can often be caused by the following structures:
Treatment of ankle and foot complaints will vary depending on the specific cause of your pain. Some general advice includes:
In some foot and ankle complaints, strapping or bracing of the region can assist in recovery and return to activity.
In your initial session, your health practitioner will ask multiple questions about your foot or ankle pain. They will use this information along-side assessment & provocative testing of the foot & ankle region, as well as other asymptomatic areas in the body, to establish a diagnosis for your pain. Time will be taken to explain this to you, how long your expected recovery will be and how your treatment plan will proceed.
Hands-on therapy will involve decreasing muscular tension, increasing joint range of motion and addressing biomechanical issues on the lower limb. To assist with your recovery, you may be given some take-home exercises and stretches which will target not only the foot/ankle, but the weakness and deficiencies in the entire leg. Compliance with these exercises and other advice given in a session will help speed your recovery along.
For more information on conditions of the ankle, foot and lower leg, click on the following conditions: