Foot Pain Physiotherapist Milsons Point
With over 25 years of experience addressing foot and ankle issues at Physio Therapy Yoga, A-J is passionate about treating foot pain!
Let her assist you in alleviating your pain and guide you back to the joy of walking or running.
Is walking painful? Is pain preventing you from walking as much as you need to or would love to?
Feet are complex with 33 joints, 26 bones and more than 100 muscles in one foot. Feet have many more movements than we realise. To diagnose and treat foot pain a good knowledge of foot anatomy and its biomechanics is required.
A-J, our principal physio, has worked with lower limb problems, particularly feet for most of her career. She is a specialist sports physio who has studied biomechanics and functional anatomy as a post graduate. One of the primary interests here at Physio Therapy Yoga (previously Physio Body and Sole) is treating foot and ankle pain.
Pronation is a normal function of the foot. Yet often people are prescribed orthotics to correct this. The foot normally pronates (flattens) as your weight is transferred onto it and supinates (“folds”) as you push off to propel you forward. If the pronation is causing you pain, that is a different matter. In that case have your foot assessed for muscular imbalance, stiff joints and any imbalance above the feet causing pain before embarking on buying orthotics.
Many shoes do not allow for normal movement of the feet. Wearing certain shoes, walking on hard surfaces, and sitting all day can detrain, stiffen, and change your foot mechanics causing pain. Have the joints and muscles assessed and balanced before getting orthotics. If there is an alignment problem remaining, your physio will refer you to an appropriate podiatrist.
The foot can be divided into 3 regions to assess its function; rearfoot (heel), midfoot, and forefoot (toes). Each of these areas has its own set of problems. Each area affects the other and your comfort walking.
Something we do a little differently here is we assess how the forces of your whole body affect your foot pain. We look at you walking with experienced eyes. The underlying cause of your foot pain can be missed when the whole body is not assessed in walking.
The foot motion, and the movement of your body above, is complex and needs to be accurately assessed to treat your foot properly and efficiently.
Here at Physio Therapy Yoga we help you to understand your injury, and educate you on how to treat and prevent your pain from returning.
Common Foot and Ankle problems treated at Physio Therapy Yoga are:
The plantar fascia is a band of fibrous tissue under the foot that joins your toes to your heel and connects the muscles running up the back of your leg. It gives the foot stability when you walk or run.
When the deep muscles of the foot are weak (wearing shoes does this!), the plantar fascia is the last line of defence. It can get inflamed or even develop a small tear. The type of foot you have can predispose you to problems.
Treatment for injury to the plantar fascia will include correction of the biomechanical causes of the injury. We treat not just the foot, but the whole body as how you move affects the feet. A graded strengthening program, specific stretches, and taping facilitate healing. Correct diagnosis is very important.
For a tear, a walking boot and rest may be prescribed. A tear can usually be diagnosed clinically, a scan confirms it. After the foot has been immobilised in a boot until the pain is minimal, it will need to be rehabilitated. It is not advised to just return to walking, that is if you want the pain to stay away.
After a period of prolonged immobilisation it can feel strange to walk again. Muscles are not only detrained but it is easy to pick up bad walking habits. It is advised to be guided with the correct exercises to strengthen your foot and restore normal gait/ walking. Here at Physio Therapy Yoga we have years of experience rehabilitating lower limb injuries, esp the feet.
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 types of feet have little shock absorption, especially if the rest of you is stiff. Stretch your calves regularly, or join Physio-Yoga Classes.
Heel pain can come from many sources. Just a few are listed below;
- Plantar fascia – the connective tissue that attaches to the heel can be inflamed or injured.
- Nerve entrapment – is commonly overlooked.
- Referral of pain from the lumbo-sacral spine.
- From trigger points in specific muscles.
- Bruised fat pad
- Stress fracture
- Your walking or running style and the forces placed on your foot.
- 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.
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.
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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.