Ankle and foot pain can be caused by degenerative bony wear and tear (osteo-arthritis), or from traumatic damage to supportive ligaments. Ankle pain can be very limiting and have a detrimental compensatory effect elsewhere in the body. It is usually easy to treat with osteopathic techniques.
One thing to consider is whether the pain is from a local origin or whether it is from a remote cause, e.g. nerve pressure from the lower back., or swollen ankles due to fluid retention. Your osteopath will be able to help determine the cause of your pain, by questioning you about the onset of the symptoms and any previous history. We will then examine your ankle and consider this in relation to the rest of your body to establish a biomechanical link, before formulating a treatment plan. See the Chhabra Osteopathy six step treatment plan for more details.
We aim to see all patients within 24 hours or your enquiry, and our experienced team offer a friendly and professional approach to your treatment- contact us to arrange an appointment conveniently on-line:
Common causes of foot and ankle pain
- Sprained ankle- usually affecting the front ligament in the ankle, following a “rolled ankle” or inversion strain
- Fracture of the fibula or tibia- traumatic origin
- Dislocated ankle- where the bones move out of alignment at the joint
- Tendonitis- inflammation of the tendon of muscles where they attach to bone
- Muscle or tendon tear- e.g. Achilles Tendon damage
- Heel pain (calcaneal spur)- bony growth on the underside of the heel bone
- Plantar Fasciitis (sometimes known as policeman’s heel)- discomfort affecting the sole of the foot
- Bunions- deviation of the big toe. This is often a familial trait.
- Osteoarthrits- wear and tear of particular joints
- Gout- recurrent acute inflammatory arthritis, often of the bog toe
- Dropped arches
Treatment of ankle pain
Osteopathy not only deals with the pain locally, but also looks to identify the cause of your discomfort and treat this. That way, we don’t just treat symptoms, but aim to prevent problems from reoccurring.
For traumatic injuries causing lateral ankle pain, it may be sensible to rule out serious damage like fracture or dislocation. A rolled or sprained ankle can cause significant pain, bruising and swelling, even if it is only the ligaments that are damaged, so a trip to A & E for x-ray is sensible.
For soft tissue injuries (muscles, tendons, and ligaments), your osteopath will be able to carry out a series of tests to determine the tissue responsible for your discomfort. Occasionally we may ask you to see your GP to get a referral for MRI scan.
Ankle Pain Treatment options include:
- Ultrasound therapy
- Soft tissue stretching
- Deep friction
- Joint manipulation
- Pain killers &/ or anti-inflammatory medication
- Splinting, strapping or bracing
- Injections of cortico-steroid medication
- Exercise therapy
- Orthotic prescription
- RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression elevation)
Most condition can be dealt with using a conservative approach, but on rare occasions we sometimes have to refer patients for consultant foot and ankle specialists for surgical procedures to resolve the problem.
Inner ankle pain often involves damage to ligaments on the medial aspect of the ankle and is less common than the inversion strain injury described above. Ankle pain relief is usually afforded by minimizing weight-bearing in the first few days following injury and aiming to reduce the inflammation. Subsequent treatment protocol generally aims to relive mechanical stress to the region and strengthen supporting tissues.
Achilles tendon pain is common following high impact sport (such as aerobics).
Ankle pain after running may be temporary and disappears within a day or two having rested, but if symptoms persist, seek medical advice. This may be the start of Achilles tendonitis and will be far faster to resolve if treatment is sought quickly.
If you are suffering with any of the foot or ankle conditions mentioned above, feel free to talk to one of our reception team on 020 8545 0965 to find a time that is convenient for you to attend one of our Surrey or South West London clinics for a consultation with one of our osteopaths. If you refer, you can use our on-line booking facility to make your appointment. We runs clinics 6 days a week and have early morning, evening and weekend slots to minimize disruption to your normal working week.
Don’t put up with your ankle pain- with just a couple of appointments and some home exercises and advice, you may find that your symptoms settle very quickly, enabling you to return to your normal daily activities.