Ankle and Foot Pain

One may complain of pain in the foot or lower extremity. Fascial soft‐tissue disorders exist, such as those mentioned below, often times their origins begin in the foot.

Shin Splints are an overuse condition producing chronic exertional shin pain in the leg. This condition is common among the athletic population, affecting dancers, runners, aerobics athletes, and others who engage in activities requiring repetitive loading of the lower extremity. A dropped or fallen medial longitudinal arch can impair the shock‐absorbing capabilities of the foot. Many fascial soft tissues play important roles in maintaining the longitudinal arch of the foot and helping in shock absorption, including the intrinsic foot muscles, the plantar fascia, tarsal ligaments, and leg muscles such as the tibialis posterior. Additional facial soft‐tissue supports include the deltoid ligament and calcaneonavicular ligament, also called the spring ligament. Of these muscles, the tibialis posterior is considered the primary dynamic structural support for the arch. When other support fascial tissues are weakened, even greater load is placed on the tibialis posterior in order to maintain the arch. Fatigue and dysfunction of this muscle is a common cause of shin splints, stress fractures, and plantar fascitis.

Cramps often occur because of dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, and repetitive stress. Unnecessary stress is placed on the calves by wearing bad shoes, walking/running on uneven or hard surfaces. Muscle imbalances are also major contributors to cramps especially when the previous symptoms listed are also present.

Tendonitis most commonly occurs to the Achilles tendon, peroneal or tibialis tendons. Trauma to the tendons causes inflammation, pain and swelling. Tendonitis injuries are typically the result of chronic overuse, but can be a result of an ankle sprain.

Ankle Sprains are where the Ligaments are injured as a result of forceful movements. The ankle is the most frequently injured major joint in the body. The lateral ligaments are the most common ankle ligaments to be injured. Due to the fact that most sprains occur by inversion rather than eversion, the calcaneofibular and anterior talofibular ligaments are the most commonly injured.

Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition caused by excessive wear leading to inflammation of the plantar fascia in the foot. The pain usually is felt on the underside of the heel, and is often most intense with the first steps of the day. It is commonly associated with long periods of weight bearing. This condition often causes a heel spur (on the calcaneus) to develop, in which case it is the underlying condition, and not the spur itself, which produces the pain. Inflammation and trigger point referral into the plantar surface of the foot and around the heel can cause a burning, intense pain. Usually the pain is intensified first thing in the morning and after sitting for a long period of time. At times, the pain can be so intense that putting weight on the foot is avoided and the client limps or cannot walk at all.

As Bodyworkers & Functional Movement Therapists we focus on balancing the muscle and fascial systems of the body to improve range of motion, posture, and support pain free living. We are able to view your muscle imbalances and Design the best treatment plan specific to your needs and properly address your ankle and foot pain.