Foot, Heel and Ankle Pain

Over 20 years of experience treating foot, heel and ankle injuries at Physio Body and Sole, same physio with and now called Physio Therapy Yoga.

We can help you get to the bottom of your pain and return to the walking or running you love.

Is walking painful? Do you love to walk?

Feet are complex with 33 joints, 26 bones and more than 100 muscles in one foot. They all work together to enable us to stand, balance, walk and run. To treat and diagnose foot problems a good knowledge of foot and body biomechanics, muscle and joint function are required.

Pronation and supination are normal functions of the foot. The foot pronates (flattens) as our weight is transferred over the foot and supinates (“folds”) to stiffen and propel us forward. We don’t allow normal movement of the feet when we wear shoes all day, or wear heels, or walk on concrete surfaces, even sitting all day! Our feet can get stiff, detrained and painful! 

Feet are divided into 3 regions; rearfoot (heel), midfoot, and forefoot (toes). Each of these areas has their own set of problems and influences the other areas through muscular connections.

Something we do a little differently here is we assess how the forces of your whole body are affecting your foot. The cause of your foot pain is often missed when the whole body above is not looked at.

One of our primary interests here at Physio Therapy Yoga (previously Physio Body and Sole) is treating lower limb pain and injuries, especially foot and ankle pain or dysfunction.

We have experience treating complex or persistent foot problems.

At  Physio Therapy Yoga we help you to understand your injury, and educate you how to heal and prevent your pain returning.

Heel Pain

Heel pain can come from many sources. Just a few are listed below;

  1. Plantar fascia – the connective tissue that attaches to the heel can be inflamed or injured.
  2. Nerve entrapment – is commonly overlooked.
  3. Referral of pain from the lumbo-sacral spine.
  4. From trigger points in specific muscles.
  5. Bruised fat pad
  6. Stress fracture
  7. Your walking or running style and the forces placed on your foot.
  8. Tight or weak calves

There are many causes that need to be accurately assessed to treat your heel pain affectively.

Not all heel pain is due to the plantar fascia!

There are nerves that end where the plantar fascia does, in addition, this area is impacted biomechanically by how you land on your foot, or how much muscular tension there is higher up, what shoes you are wearing, what activities or lifestyle have contributed.

All this needs to be considered to treat your heel pain quickly and effectively. We can tell you whether orthotics are needed, but so often more needs to be done. Be assessed thoroughly, looking at the whole of you.

Nerve Pain

Compressed or irritated nerves may cause pain in the feet. Nerve pain may feel like burning, shooting, or stabbing pain, or there may be a dull ache (can also be a sign of inflammation), or paraesthesia (pins and needles) or numbness.

Early treatment ensures an early resolution of pain from nerve irritation. The longer the pressure or irritation on a nerve, the longer it may take to resolve.

Mortons Neuroma

This is a nerve that gets compressed between two toes forming a swollen nodule. The pressure can be taken off the nerve using specific exercises to strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the foot and lift the transverse arch. Surgery is the last option, physio and podiatry are very successful in treating this condition..

Recurrent Ankle Sprains

Sprains occur when ligaments are over-stretched or torn. Ligaments join bone to bone providing stability to joints. 

Initially for an acute ankle apply compression and rest it. Ice is for pain, do not overdo it or more tissue damage may occur. Start active movements as directed by your Physio, gradually walking on it as pain allows. If it does not resolve within 2 days, or pain is severe, it must be assessed by a professional.

Loose ligaments can cause long term ankle instability. The surrounding muscles must be retrained to support the ligament. 

Common Foot and Ankle problems treated at Physio Therapy Yoga are;

Plantar Fasciosis (& Fasciitis)

The plantar fascia is a band of thickened fibrous tissue under the foot. It gives the foot structure stability when we walk or run.

When the intrinsic foot muscles are detrained, the plantar fascia is the last line of defense. It can get inflamed or develop a small tear. The type of foot you have can predispose you to problems. Your feet can be assessed and treated by an experienced foot Physiotherapist here at The Physio & Yoga Clinic.

Treatment for plantar fasciosis may include correction of biomechanical causes (of the whole body, not just the foot), a graded strengthening program, calf stretches, taping to support the arch, and correct footwear.

For a tear a walking boot and rest may be prescribed. A tear can usually be diagnosed clinically, a scan is not always required. Once the foot is weaned out of a CAM boot it will need to be rehabilitated, it is not advised to just return to walking. At least have your foot checked by a foot physio.  

Fracture Rehabilitation

After a period of prolonged immobilisation it can feel strange to walk again. Muscles are severely detrained and it is easy to pick up bad walking habits. It is always best to be guided to the correct exercises to strengthen and restore normal gait/ walking. Here at Physio Body and Sole we have years of experience with lower limb biomechanics and gait re-education.

Pes Planus – Extremely Flat Feet
– OR –
Pes Cavus – Extremely high arches

The occurrence of flat feet can result from a weak Tibialis Posterior muscle. It is important this is assessed, and specific strengthening exercises taught. Prevention is better than surgery. Supportive footwear and orthotics may be required.

The occurrence of high arches can predispose you to back pain or knee pain. These type of feet have little shock absorption, especially if the rest of you is stiff. Stretch your calves regularly, or join Physio-Yoga Classes.