Foot and Ankle Pain: Real Facts

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Jane is an active middle-aged woman who runs and boxes regularly.  She keeps herself busy with her family and friends (outside of COVID lockdowns, of course) and works behind a computer 3 days a week. She also suffers from foot pain. Like most people, she walks it off and hopes that tomorrow it will feel better all by itself. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t (she should really see a good Podiatrist, but that’s for another blog).

She’s had to stop running quite as often and she’s a little slow getting out of bed some mornings. Jane is not unique or special, in fact she is probably amongst the majority of the population who suffer from some kind of lower limb or foot ailment. For most of us, we can push through for a period of time before it becomes too painful and we have to stop or seek help. Surely there’s another alternative for poor Jane? I believe there is.

Does any of Jane’s story sound familiar to you or someone else you know?

If you have foot pain, ankle pain, heel pain, or arthritis, it’s important to know there is hope!

Does foot pain and ankle pain stop you enjoying life?

Do you get aching pain after resting, or sharp pain in your feet when walking on them?

Like Jane, have you had to give up what you enjoy because of pain?

At Sutherland Podiatry Centre we have seen thousands of people who are frustrated, angry, disappointed or have given up doing what they love completely because foot and ankle pain is slowing them down.

Do you have any of the following conditions?
  • Heel Pain / Plantar Fasciitis
  • Sharp pain in your forefoot (Neuroma/Metatarsalgia)
  • Bunions
  • Hammer Toes
  • Arthritis
  • Tendonitis
  • Aching arches

If you suffer from any of these, you need to know that there is help available, and suffering unnecessarily is not just a given fact!

Jane is so eager to keep herself moving that if the pain is particularly bad she will take a painkiller or an anti-inflammatory to help mask the pain and give her some relief. It works of course, but you can’t take them forever. In fact it may be making things worse by hiding the problem and the severity of its nature from you or your doctor.

Pain is the natural way our bodies remind us something is not working properly, either through injury, disease or dysfunction. Ignoring it, particularly long term is not a great idea. In fact, if you keep taking pills you may be more likely to do things that cause more damage.

Foot and Ankle pain is just “Old Age”

This is a line Jane grumbles to herself every morning as she limps to the bathroom. Poor Jane! Wrong again, because surely if that was true then everything would be painful – it’s all the same age!

Pain is normal, but pain that doesn’t go away or is recurrent is NOT normal.

Finding the problem and getting a proper assessment and diagnosis is the key to helping the problem as a whole.

Ugly shoes need not apply

Jane also has a penchant for high heels and is of course reluctant to change from her personal style, particularly to something bulky and ugly. She is most certainly not alone with this mindset, but this barrier is self-inflicted, and may be there unnecessarily. There may be a short term period of alternative footwear, but your Podiatrist will always try to work with you regarding this. You must find the true cause of your pain to be able to treat it effectively.

Here are 4 things you can do for yourself
  1. Massage:
    • You can condition your muscles by massaging the painful area. Simply rub the area, kneading the tight muscles for around 5-10 minutes or as often as needed until you get relief
    • You can also roll your foot over a tennis ball. Gently! I cannot stress that enough.
    • Remember that your pain may be referred from other areas, so massage all over.
  1. Mobilise:
    • You need to mobilise tight joints to promote better movement.
    • Write the ABC’s in the air with your toes, moving only your feet and ankles
    • Gently move tight joints through their full range of motion.
  1. Stretch:
    • Increase your range of movement
    • Calf stretches or plantar fascia stretches can help release tension as well
  2. Strengthen:
    • Improve your ability to cope with demands of daily life.
    • Simply walking on soft sand, or picking up a towel with your toes can help to build strength in your feet
How can we help?

Your podiatrist will assess, diagnose and formulate a step by step plan for you to recover from your problem. No two people are alike, and neither are their injuries. Taking advice from your brother or your plumber who has a similar problem is not effective health advice.

We take a history, and complete a full assessment. Once this is done we explain the situation so you have a complete understanding of your problem and potential solutions.

So don’t be like Jane. If you’re in pain, come in for a visit and we’ll take care of the rest! Call us on 9542 3491.

See you soon,

Scott

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