General Foot and Ankle Aches and Pains

Your foot is an extremely complex design, which provides shock absorption for balance and stability, as well as controlling motion when you are walking, running or playing a sport - and all while under the full weight of your body!

It achieves this through an intricate structure comprising 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and 10 tendons in each foot!

Understandably, it is not uncommon to suffer pain and dysfunction in your feet, and because they form the base of your entire body, dysfunction within them can lead to problems higher up in the knees, hips, lower back and even neck - causing headaches!

How can we help?

People do not automatically think of seeing a chiropractor or osteopath when they have foot and ankle pain, as most people assume we 'just do backs'; however, with every patient we examine that is presenting with back pain, we will also assess their hips, knees, ankles and feet, as our focus is not just to treat the pain, but also to find and eliminate the cause to stop the problem from reoccurring.

Our practitioners are highly trained and experienced at examining, diagnosing and treating foot and ankle problems, whether they are associated with foot and ankle pain or not.

Symptoms explained:

  • Pain: Sharp pain indicates inflammation (possibly of a tendon, bursa or ligament)
  • Aches: Commonly associated with muscular problems - including tightness or overuse
  • Weakness: Can occur as a result of pain, trauma or nerve damage
  • Restriction: If the joints in the foot or ankle are not moving properly, this can lead to compensation higher up in the leg and back
  • Swelling: Most commonly seen after trauma

You will be involved in any decisions about your care, and your practitioner will give you advice on appropriate pain management strategies. Your treatment is likely to be a package of care that may include: 

  • Expert advice
  • Self-management 
  • Manual therapies (including manipulation, mobilisation and soft tissue work)
  • Dry needling/medical acupuncture
  • Tailored exercise approaches
  • Psychologically informed care

You can also expect to receive advice on the appropriateness of undertaking exercises, being physically active and continuing normal daily activities as far as possible, as well as remaining in work, graded return and fit notes.

Please see the top left-hand corner of this page for a list of other causes of foot and ankle pain.

How long will it take until I feel better?

This is very much down to the individual. As a rough guide, young, fit and healthy patients with more recent problems will probably take fewer adjustments; however, older, less fit or indeed the less healthy individual will probably take a few more.

Different conditions take different lengths of time to heal as well (for example, a facet joint sprain will heal a lot more quickly than a disc herniation).

At your Report of Findings (RoF) appointment, your practitioner will give you an informed estimate as to how long you can expect the course of care to take. They will keep you up to date with your prognosis throughout your care, and you will undergo a review appointment every six sessions; however, following your practitioner's advice is strongly recommended to help you to get better more quickly.

Also, 'better' means different things to different people. Some people come to see us merely to get out of pain, whereas the majority of people come to see us to get well and stay well. Some people with chronic conditions recognise the fact that they may always have some discomfort, but derive a huge amount of benefit from regular adjustments - keeping them functioning at their very best.

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