Foot and Ankle pain

Pain can occur in the foot and ankles for a number of reasons.

The foot and ankle are made up of a number of small bones interconnected by ligaments, muscles and fascia all working together to give the strength, stability and flexibility the foot and ankle needs to function properly.

Common conditions of the foot, ankle and areas which can give rise to pain include:

Acquired flat foot – when the inner side of the foot or inner arch flattens. The foot may roll over to the inner side (known as over-pronation). It is often apparent if the heels of shoes wear out quickly and unevenly. Over-pronation can damage your ankle joint and achilles tendon (the tendon at the back of your ankle) and can also cause shin pain. Symptoms can include, pain, swelling, change in foot shape and knee pain or swelling.

Plantar fasciitis– is pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia – the tough fibrous band of tissue that supports the arches of the foot and runs under the small bones from the underside of the heel and sole towards the toes, Often, people who have plantar fasciitis describe it as a sharp pain, most often under the heel or instep of the foot. It tends to be made worse by standing for long periods of time in poor footwear. Sufferers commonly mention that it is worse when standing after being off their feet for a long time, and it can hurt more putting the foot on the floor first thing in the morning. The sole of the foot can occasionally feel a little numb, tingly or swell slightly. In some cases of plantar fasciitis, a small spur of bone can grow where the plantar fascia attaches and pulls on the heel which can cause a sharp pain.

Achilles painThe Achilles tendon is formed by the tendon of the two calf muscles, the gastrocnemius and soleus coming together and attaching onto the bone at the back of the heel called the calcaneus) Pain, inflammation or tendonitis in the Achilles can cause pain and tightness in this area.

Sprained ankle –  Typically the result of a sudden twisting or “going over” on the ankle joint and more commonly it is the ligaments on the outside of the ankle that are strained. Typical symptoms are swelling, bruising, pain and instability of the ankle. Sometimes an x-ray is required to rule out any fracture. Rest, ice, elevation and compression are often advisable in the first 24 to 48 hours.

How can an osteopath help with foot and ankle pain?

  • Depending on the diagnosis and your age and fitness we can use a variety of gentle massage and manipulative techniques to increase the mobility of the joints and the flexibility of the muscles in the foot.
  • We will often look at muscles and joints in the lower limb, the knee, hip and lower back and may treat any joint restrictions and muscle tightness we find there. Often improving the movement in the joints of the lower will help the foot and ankle function better.
  • We may offer specific balancing, strengthening or loosening exercises
  • We may offer advice on strapping and brace supports, footwear and any lifestyle factors that might be hindering healing. We may refer you to a podiatrist for their opinion and specialist foot supports
  • X-rays, scans or other tests may be required to make a diagnosis  and we may refer you to your  GP for any additional  investigations and treatment  such as advice on pain killers and anti-inflammatory medications

What is Sports Massage?

Laufender Mann Silhouette mit Skelett und GelenkschmerzenAs defined by the Sports Massage Association: “Sports Massage is the management, manipulation and rehabilitation of soft tissues of the body including muscles, tendons and ligaments. It is applicable not just to sports people but to anybody wishing to guard against or recover from a soft tissue injury.”

Sports massage is used to:

  •    Improve circulation and lymphatic flow
  •    Assist in the removal of metabolic wastes

  •    Calm or stimulate nerve endings

  •    Increase or decrease muscle tone

  •    Increase or decrease muscle length

  •    Assist in the remodeling of scar tissue

Sports Massage is not just for the Olympic athlete – we treat armchair athletes too!
Around 50% of our patients are sports injury related and 50% are unrelated to sport.
Our youngest patients are still at primary school and our more senior patients are approaching their 90th birthday.

The benefits of sports massage therapy may also help relieve many day to day problems, such as:

  •     Repetitive strain injury e.g: work, driving

  •     Sprains and strains

  •     Tension

  •     General aches and pain e.g: gardening, lifting, playing with the kids

  •     The effects of poor posture

  •     Tight muscles / Muscle spasm

Fotolia_41226524_XSMany sports massage practitioners work with a great range of clients in assisting with preventive treatment and injury recovery.

If you are a sports performer, of any level, a sports specific massage can be beneficial at any stage of participation – from the conditioning and training phase, the post-competition stage as well as for injury prevention and recovery.

massageWhat happens during your appointment?

A full history of your condition will be taken and you will be examined as appropriate for the area or areas concerned.  An individual treatment plan will be discussed, and then implemented by providing the appropriate massage and/or stretching techniques. You will be advised if the therapist feels any alternative actions may be required, for example referral to a doctor.

Appointments last 30, 45 or 60 minutes.  You are advised to leave up to an hour for your initial appointment. Please contact the practice for our current availability and prices.

About Paul Watson:

Paul trained at the London School of Sports Massage, gaining his Level 4 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy in 2006.  He went on to gain a Diploma in sports Therapy from the Sports Therapy Organisation (Manchester) in 2007.

He holds clinics at Devizes and Pewsey from Monday to Saturday, with later evening appointments available.

To make an appointment, or for further information, please telephone 07737 416906.