Your feet and ankles are integral to the way you move every single day, therefore injuries to this part of your body can be very disabling!
In the athletic population it is fairly common for our Physiotherapists to see acute ligament sprains. The lateral ligament is a structure placed at risk when the ankle is rolled excessively. This is common in athletes such as netballers, basketballers and footballers. We can help ligament injuries in the acute (early) phase by helping you reduce pain and swelling, and by promoting the healing process. Restoration of ankle range of motion and muscle strength is also extremely important in ankle rehabilitation. If ankles aren’t rehabilitated correctly you run the risk of having long term issues or other joints getting injured as a result of having an unstable (wobbly) ankle. Therefore, it is important that your rehabilitation program includes proprioceptive/balance exercises and specific exercises for your sport later in the rehabilitation plan. The best plan for you will be determined by your Physiotherapist in your first session. We can also assist you in fitting ASO ankle braces on site.
Achilles pain is another problem seen at the back of your ankle where your calf muscle inserts onto the heel bone – in the Achilles tendon. At the Physiotherapy, Pilates & Health Centre our management of Achilles tendinopathy is based around current literature which shows the importance of specific exercises to restore your tendon back to normal. Load through the tendon, footwear and technique are very important in this condition and we have experience in managing all types of Achilles pain. We can conduct an analysis of your walking/running and give you feedback on ways to improve.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common form of heel pain. Some of the factors that contribute to plantar fasciitis include overuse, non-optimal mechanics with walking/running, changes in activity and poor footwear. Normally plantar fasciitis pain occurs with your first few steps in the morning and may get a little better when you warm up. Physiotherapy can help manage your pain with a combination of soft tissue therapies, a review of your walking/running and correction of contributing factors. We can also provide you with advice on taping and support. Sometimes a referral to our podiatrist can help with the overall management of your condition.
There are many foot complaints, injuries and conditions. Some of these include: stress fractures, bunions, plantar plate injuries, neuromas and nerve compression. We are experts at managing all kinds of foot and ankle pain!
Assessment of your foot/ankle injury will include a thorough assessment of your history and a range of clinical tests to ensure an accurate diagnosis. The physiotherapist will provide you with a diagnosis and management plan at the completion of your initial consultation. Sometimes a skill specific to your sport and injury may be assessed eg running technique or tennis serve. This gives the physiotherapist valuable information about why and how your injury may have occurred hence ways to stop it recurring again!
Your foot injury treatment will be based upon best practices from information gained in your assessment. Depending on the injury techniques such as joint mobilisations, muscle/fascia release may be used to assist in your alignment and reduce adverse forces around the foot. Your Physiotherapist may also want to trial some taping techniques and/or bracing for certain injuries as part of the larger management plan. Occasionally a scan such as an x-ray, bone scan or MRI may be indicated to achieve more information about your condition.
Rehabilitation of foot and ankle injuries is often a complex process. Obviously all your body weight must transfer over your foot and ankle to move effectively therefore sometimes other factors such as pelvis, hip and spinal stability may need to be addressed to regain full recovery. Exercises may be given for home, gym or in the Clinical Pilates studio to assist you in your recovery. All of our exercises in our foot injury clinic are based upon years of experience and current literature therefore you can be sure you are receiving the best care at the Physiotherapy, Pilates & Health Centre.