Foot Pain, Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendin
How does the foot work?
The feet are made up of 26 bones and more than 33 joints arranged in columns and arches that vary in stiffness and flexibility.
The back of the foot is made up of the heel bone and the ankle. The joint that holds them together allows the foot to move from
side to side. The heel is connected to the calf muscles in the lower leg by the Achilles tendon, which is the most important tendon
for movement. The middle of the foot is made up of five bones. These form the arch of the foot. These bones are connected to the front and back of the foot by muscles and the arch ligament (the plantar fascia). They act as a shock absorber when we’re walking
or running. The front of the foot is made up of the toe bones, which are connected to five long bones by joints.
The joints in the toes don’t move very much.
What can cause foot pain?
There are many different causes of foot pain, but the following are two common conditions:
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation at the site where the fascia (a tough band of fibrous tissue) attaches under the heel bone. It’s the most common cause of discomfort around this area. Plantar fasciitis frequently affects people with inflammatory arthritis but it can also occur in people without arthritis. Research has shown that plantar fasciitis is sometimes caused by the shortening of the Achilles tendon and that exercises to lengthen it may help.
Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle. It can occur as an over-use injury in people who take part in excessive exercise or exercise that they’re not used to, but it’s also quite common in people who have some types of arthritis.
What can be done to help?
If your foot pain has a particular cause, like arthritis, treating that condition may help. There are several ways you can help yourself if you have foot pain, and most symptoms will be eased by finding footwear that has more room and is more comfortable. Using padded insoles that support the arch of the foot can also help. Call us at Therapy-First Physiotherapy and have a chat with Michal. Drop Michal a line on Ask Us on our website or call him on
Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen may help and you should use them if you need to. It’s important that you take
them regularly and at the recommended dose to help you control the pain and allow you to continue exercising. Don’t wait until
your pain is severe before taking painkillers. You can also rub anti-inflammatory cream directly onto the painful area. You shouldn’t take ibuprofen or aspirin if you’re pregnant or have asthma, indigestion or an ulcer until you’ve spoken to your doctor or pharmacist. Medication can have side-effects so you should read the label carefully and check with your pharmacist if you have any queries. Your doctor or specialist physiotherapist can give you a steroid injection to reduce swelling, but it’s recommended that you try other treatments first.
Exercise can help ease your symptoms and keep you to a healthy weight, which will help ease the pressure on painful feet. Swimming and other non-weight-bearing exercises are best if painful feet make it difficult to exercise. Physiotherapy and podiatry If your foot pain is affecting your activity and is persisting, ask your GP about referral to a physiotherapist or podiatrist. They can help you to manage pain and improve your strength and flexibility. They can also provide a variety of treatments, help you understand your problem and get you back to your normal activities.
At Therapy-First our aim is to get you back on your feet and help you take control of your existing condition, this means taking a step at a time…