The ankle and foot need to be able to tolerate all of our weight through various demands from simply walking through to running, jumping, hopping, skipping and kicking. The way our ankle and foot are able to absorb load and maintain balance through these activities is complex, involving a unified effort between bony structures, ligament tissue and long springy tendons.
Ankle and foot dysfunction, injury and pain can arise from a number of different reasons. It can be the result of a traumatic injury such ligament sprains or broken bones, or the development of tendinopathies, degenerative arthritis or biomechanical disorders that occur over longer periods of time.
The most common ankle foot problems include:
- Lateral ligament injuries
- Achillies tendinopathy
- Tibialis posterior tendinopathy
- Plantar fasciitis
- Referred pain
For those individuals returning to sport, is important to understand the loading demands of what you want your ankle and foot to be able tolerate, and treatment should reflect these goals.
Common treatments for ankle injuries often include:
- Joint mobilisation
- Soft tissue massage
- And some basic strengthening and stretching exercises (ie heel raises, calf stretches and balance)
Common Treatment Mistakes When An Individual Is Aiming To Return To Sport Include:
- Addressing force absorption
- Improving reactivity of tendon tissue
- Improving joint rhythm (yes the hip, knee, ankle and foot are all invited to the party)
If you have recently injured or have a long standing foot or ankle problem, or are just worried that your ankle and foot are not up to the demands of your sport it might be worthwhile getting one of our trained physiotherapist to assess your problem and help you sprint down the right path.