Having a painful foot can be very debilitating. At Moreland Osteopathy we understand your pain, and how it affects your everyday activities, which is why we aim to diagnose and manage your condition as soon as possible. Some main causes of foot and heel pain are (but not limited to):
- Heel spur (Calaneal spur)
- Ankle sprains and ankle instability (See Figure 2)
- Achilles tendonitis
- Morton's neuroma
- Shin splints
Let's look at the anatomy of the foot and how these conditions can arise. (See Figure 1. )The foot is made up like an arch supported by the small tarsal bones. There are many reasons why this arch may be compromised. For some people they may just have a natural 'flat foot' or pronated feet. Poor shoes can lead to a lot of foot problems so it is important to have adequate footwear with good arch support. Weight gain is another factor that leads to stress in the arch of the foot. There are also other reasons why you may suddenly develop foot pain, but these are the main ones.
Figure 1. Anatomical side view of the right foot. The plantarfasciia can be compromised due to increased weight, poor shoes and pronated foot. This can cause plantarfaccitis and other conditions such as a heel spur where the plantar fascia connects to the back heel bone (calcaneus) keeps stretching and causes a bony outgrowth.
How can Osteopathy help my foot and ankle pain?
At Moreland Osteopathy we offer proper advise and treatment according to your condition. We can advise you on appropriate footwear and exercises. Apart from this we may able to assist your condition with hands on manual therapy techniques to increase the joint range of motion and flexibility of the muscles in the feet and lower legs.
Upon your first consultation we take an elaborate medical history, do our necessary orthopedic examination and assessment to find out what you are suffering from. Any red flags will be ruled out during your history taking and questioning with the Osteopath. Following this, Osteopathy can help your foot and ankle pain through hands on manual therapy techniques, also if needed, dry needling, exercise/ stretching prescription. If your foot pain persists, you may even be sent off to do some X-rays or MRI's depending on your presentation.
Some techniques we use for foot and lower limb injuries are Massage, trigger point release, articulation and manipulation of joints, muscle energy technique, inhibition and many more. We use these techniques in order to give your body a chance to take charge, and help itself. Some effects of Osteopathy are to increase blood flow to your injured site, therefore decreasing pain levels and increasing your healing rate.
Every treatment is tailored to you so if you prefer or respond better to certain techniques then we will take that into account. We have excellent bedside manner and aim to make you feel comfortable at all times.
Figure 2. How to deal with an acute ankle sprain in the first 24-48 hrs. Remember RICE!