The ankle is a large joint consisting of three bones.
The ankle joint allows up-and-down movement of the foot. Another smaller joint, called the subtalar joint, found below the ankle joint, is what allows the side-to-side motion of the foot. Many ligaments surround the ankle and subtalar joints. These ligaments bind different bones together.
The feet are structures consisting of bones, joints, muscles, and soft tissues that let us stand upright and perform activities like walking, running and jumping. The Achilles tendon is what connects the heel to the calf muscle and is essential when you are running, jumping or even standing on your toes.
There are many possible injuries that can occur to the foot and ankle including:
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick fibrous tissue that goes from the heel to the toes. Inflammation and pain is caused when the plantar fascia is overly stretched and overused causing tiny tears in its surface.
A number of factors contribute to this condition. However you are most likely to suffer from this condition as you age or if you:
A heel spur is a bony growth in the heel, which may cause severe pain during walking or standing. An x-ray is required to diagnose heel spurs. Some of the causes of bone spurs in the feet are:
The Achilles tendon stretches from your heel to your calf muscle. It allows you to point your toes to the floor. With Achilles tendon injuries, a person will feel pain in the back of the heel. The pain can be sudden or a nagging daily pain (tendonitis). In a severe Achilles tendon injury, the tendon can tear partially or rupture completely. An injury might be caused by:
A tear in the Achilles tendon often happens when you start moving suddenly, for example at the start of a race. In this case, people may report hearing a snapping or popping noise during the injury, and they may have difficulty flexing their foot or pointing their toes.
Fallen arches, or better known as “flat feet”, are present when the arches of the feet flatten out during standing or walking and can be the cause to other foot problems. Several tendons in your foot and in lower leg work together to form your foot arch. When these tendons do not work properly, then there is little or no arch. Fallen arches in adults might be caused by:
Morton’s neuroma is a growth consisting of nerve tissue usually between the third and fourth toe. The nerve that runs between these toes can swell and get thicker and cause the person to feel pain, numbness and burning in the foot. There are several factors linked to this injury, including:
Ankle sprains are the most common injuries in the ankle. It is an injury to one of the ligaments in your ankle. Although ligaments are flexible, all it takes is a sudden twist for them to overstretch or snap completely. Sprains occur when the foot lands on the ground at an angle or with too much force. Risk factors that increase the likelihood of an ankle sprain are:
There are 3 grades of sprains. In Grades I and II, the ligaments are overstretched or partially torn. People have mild to moderate pain and swelling. In Grade III, the ligament is completely torn and the ankle becomes unstable. As a result, people have severe pain and swelling.
Shin splint is a condition, which causes pain and sometimes swelling on the medial side of the leg (tibia). They occur from repeated pounding on hard surfaces during certain activities. Shin splints can progress from an inflammatory reaction to an actual stress fracture in the bone. There are several factors linked to this injury, including:
Physiotherapists at Pro Care Physiotherapy & Athletes’ Injury Center can help with all foot and ankle conditions after performing a thorough assessment. The treatment may include: