Foot & Ankle Problems

Have you ever considered the amazing complexity that the human foot requires in order to control motion, provide feedback for balance, maintain stability AND absorb ground impact forces all whilst under the full load of the body?  It achieves this through an intricate structure comprising 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and 10 tendons within each foot.

Amazingly, approximately a third of all the bones in the body are located within our feet.  As we move, the foot and ankle must maintain both mobility and stability.  This compromise makes this area particularly vulnerable to injury, for example sprains, tendinosis and fasciitis.  In addition, dysfunction in the mechanics and control of the feet can exacerbate problems through the lower limb and even to the lower back or further.

Because of this complexity we also have superb in house specialist Podiatrist who can assist with the management of more involved presentations.  Podiatry is concerned with the comfort, balance and mechanics of the foot, both with regards local complaints and how they can impact on the body.  Therefore, working alongside chiropractors effective treatments, or indeed bespoke orthotics can be offered which are tailored to your problem.

Examples of Conditions treated

 

  • Tendonitis
  • Sprain/strain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Lumbar nerve root compression / irritation (Sciatica)
Symptoms treated
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Weakness
  • Joint restriction
  • Numbness and tingling
Conditions in more detail:

Tenosynovitis/Tendonitis: Inflammation of the tendon or tendon sheath, which can occur as a result of repetitive movements, direct trauma or poor movement function leading to tissue damage.  Pain is the most notable symptom and is increased when the area is moved or put under load.

Achilles Tendonitis: The Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscles to the heel bone and is essential in generating ankle movement. Overuse, inflexibility and direct trauma may provoke tendonitis, leading to acute or chronic heel pain and muscle tightness.

Sprain/strain: Sudden or repetitive twisting forces across the ankle can result in ankle sprains, most commonly as an inversion (inward twisting) injury.  Tearing of the muscles and ligaments which support the ankle will cause local swelling and tenderness.

Metatarsalgia: A generalised term referring to pain across the ball of the foot, usually associated with overuse injuries and faulty forefoot mechanics.  This syndrome can be associated with the symptoms of a Morton’s neuroma.

Plantar fasciitis: This painful condition causes pain across the sole of the foot and into the heel, particularly after periods of rest or overuse.  It can be related to poor foot mechanics, so as well as directly treating the area of pain, it is essential to correct the foot’s mechanics for full and continued resolution.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome: Includes the symptoms of ‘Joggers’ foot’, whereby compression of a nerve on the inside of the ankle can cause tingling, numbness and pain across the sole of the foot.  This must be differentiated from irritation of the plantar fascia.

Symptoms in more detail:

Pain – When sharp indicates inflammation, possibly of a tendon, bursa or ligament.

Ache – Commonly associated with muscular problems including tightness or overuse.

Restriction – If the joints of the foot or ankle fail to move, compensatory strain is placed on the rest of the lower limb.  Restoring good mechanical function is important for the whole leg.

Weakness – This can occur secondary to pain, trauma or nerve damage.  It is often a more involved symptom and needs to be fully examined to determine the cause.

Swelling – This will often occur after a trauma, most commonly after an inversion sprain of the ankle.

Wirral Chiropractor Examining a patient

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