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Foot and ankle injuries/conditions

There are 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments in one foot. Ankle sprains are the most common form of ankle injury across all ages and when untreated, 40% of ankle sprains develop chronic symptoms up to 12 months post injury.

People with foot or ankle injuries/conditions often experience pain when walking, running and/or stretching the calf muscle. Other symptoms include pins and needles, numbness, pinching pain on the joint and painful clicking.

Plantar Fasciitis causes pain in the arch and heel of the foot and occurs in 8-10% of regular runners. Achilles Tendinopathies affect 150,000 people in the UK every year.

What are the causes?

Overload and overuse: This normally involves a sudden, significant increase in activity, in time, intensity, or both. This causes a muscle, tendon or ligament to be overused, leading to an injury.

Weakness and Tightness: Ankles are often overlooked when it comes to strengthening. A leading cause of most ankle conditions is from a weakness in the calf muscles. When used a lot, a muscle can become tighter from increased contractions which can alter and impair your biomechanics and risk of injuries.

A sudden change and increase in activity: Whether it is starting a new sport or even increasing your walking on a city break, going from zero to one hundred on a new activity can cause a stress response in the structures of the foot and ankle.

Intrinsic Factors: Age, Gender, Comorbidities, Biomechanics.

Extrinsic factors: Poor footwear, Medications.

LET'S TREAT YOUR PAIN

For foot and ankle pain, we would recommend booking in with one of our Physiotherapists to get a full assessment and diagnosis. Many patients also find that Sports Massage helps with the pain.

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Conditions we treat

Ankle Sprains

Plantar fasciitis

Achilles Tendinopathy

Calf Tears, Strains and Ruptures

Ankle Impingement

Osteoarthritis

Shin Splints

Fractures and stress fractures

Post operative

Other tendinopathies

Morton's Neuroma

How to manage foot or ankle pain

You can self-manage ankle pain by resting, icing and taking appropriate pain relief and avoiding activities that aggravate the pain.

When this fails to help the pain, it is a good idea to see a physiotherapist who can accurately diagnose and explain the issue (ruling out any more serious causes of your pain), create a specific exercise plan and provide hands on treatment such as joint mobilisations, massage or taping.

Sometimes, conditions in the feet can take a bit longer to recover and can be more painful, due to the demand on the foot and ankle. As such, at Synergy we sometimes refer to a consultant to offer an alternative pain relief technique such as steroid injections, which allow a period of pain relief so that we can strengthen the foot and ankle more.

Surgery is sometimes required for severe fractures, for Achilles ruptures where the tendon completely servers and some ligament avulsions. In other cases, surgery may be an option when physiotherapy hasn’t worked.

Foot

Ankle posts from our Blog

Foot and ankle conditions in children

Our paediatric team looks after children from infants and toddlers, to teenagers. They regularly see conditions relating to the foot and ankle, which can include issues with balance, walking on tip toes and flat feet, indeed 20-37% of the population has flat feet.

Sever's disease (growth plate disorder)

Biomechanical imbalance within the foot and ankle

Sprains and muscle strains

Flat feet

Tip toe walking

Fractures

Talipes

Why do children get foot pain/what are the causes of foot pain in children?

Children have lots of growth spurts as they get older, which means bones are growing rapidly. Sometimes muscles that attach into growing bones cannot keep up with the rate of bone growth and they can become tight, which can lead to pain, imbalance and injuries in sporty and non-sporty children.

Growing bones are made from different materials to adult bones that are skeletally mature. Children also have growth plates, which are soft tissues on the end of every long bone in the body, they are responsible for making the bones grow. When a bone is growing, and the muscles are tight, the muscle pulls on the growth plate causing inflammation leading to pain and injury. In the foot this is called Sever’s disease.

Muscle tightness overall can lead to ankle sprains, fractures, tip toe walking, poor balance, pain and growth plate disorders.

Why do children get flat feet? Should I be concerned?

Often children have flat feet up to six years old. The arch tissue does not develop fully until this age, after this the arch will start to form.

Seek help if your child has flat feet associated with pain, recurrent ankle injuries, problems with walking or balance or only one foot is flat.

A physio can help by diagnosing your child, reassuring you, advice on activities and management, give you some exercises and stretches, advice on footwear. They can also check there is nothing more serious causing the flat foot and refer onwards to a specialist if needed.

Some common misconceptions

Not all foot pain is from the foot

Sometimes it can be from your lower back. Sometimes pain is not an isolated, local issue, there can be other causes that may be overlooked and are important to catch and get to the source of the pain.

Sprains are minor injuries with no long-term problems

Sprains can quickly become a chronic issue and have a high reoccurrence rate. To prevent this, they need to be fully rehabbed.

Running is bad for you

Running is a hard sport and a single leg sport, which means you need to be strong for it. There is no reason why you should stop a sport you love. If the muscle is strong enough you should have less chance of injury.

Flat feet are bad

Flat feet are not always a bad thing and are in fact very common. Having flat feet does not directly cause issues at the foot and ankle and exercises can help minimise associated issues.

Heel striking when running is bad

Yes, some foot and ankle conditions are more associated with heel striking, however it is very hard to change your running style. Being strong enough in the muscles of the lower body will be your main protector against injuries.

Meet the Foot and Ankle Team

Maisie Record

Maisie Record

Chartered Physiotherapist

Mustapher Taleb

Mustapher Taleb

Clinical lead and Consultant Sports Rehabilitator

Kath Frame

Kath Frame

Specialist Paediatric Physiotherapist

Ruth and Andy analysed the cause of my Achilles problem and worked together over nearly 6 months to get me back running. The care they took was very impressive and encouraging. I have returned to Park Run and have managed to be first in my age group (65-70) and feel confident enough to have a crack at the BUPA 10k in May.

Anthony Aldred

I broke four metatarsals in my right foot in my early twenties and not long afterwards tore part of the tendon at the top of my right leg and had no physio or rehabilitation after either accident. On the recommendation of a friend, I visited the folks at Synergy Physio before having any surgery and they completely turned things around for me.

Sam B

Synergy helped my son, Charlie (Age 12) to get back to top level running again after a nasty episode of Severs Disease. We were really impressed with how the physio and the running coach worked together to help Charlie regain his strength, agility and technique, as well as his confidence.

Mrs K

Rhianne Black was great to have as a physio. She is really professional and knows her stuff really well.

Dominic Bowers

Book with Us Today!

Whether it’s pain caused by injury, tight/sprained muscles or recovery from surgery, we can get you back to full health.

Woking: 01483 608350
Egham: 01784 605378
Orbit Leisure Centre: 01784 918281