Foot and Ankle pain is very common at some point in life. Normally foot and ankle pain follows some form of injury, such as a soft tissue sprain. Some foot and ankle pains come from overloading or weakness in muscles or tendons (Achilles, Tibialis posterior, Peroneal or Plantar Fascia). Other causes of pain can be due to inflammatory Arthritis. Sometimes, it can be as simple as our footwear is not supporting our feet adequately. Our feet and ankles are very important for our mobility and balance and we need to take care of them!
If you are suddenly unable to perform certain movements with your ankle or put weight on your foot due to injury it is important to have this medically assessed urgently as you may need an X-Ray.
What can I do to help?
Simple painkillers (paracetamol) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDS, (ibuprofen) are available over the counter and can be very effective for musculoskeletal pain. If you are currently taking any form of medication it is advisable to consult your GP or pharmacist before taking pain relief.
If your foot or ankle is swollen and inflamed (warm to the touch) applying an ice pack may be helpful for reducing pain and swelling. A packet of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel works well as an ice pack. Leave the peas in place for no more than 20 minutes at a time. This can be repeated several times a day as long as your skin is not irritated and/or you do not have any loss of feeling in your feet from conditions like diabetes.
Reducing the strain on your ankle or foot
It is usually best to carry out your normal activities, but try not to overdo it. You need to pace yourself to start with and try to do a bit more each day. It is important to wear supportive footwear at all times.
Physiotherapy can be very effective in getting you moving comfortably again and returned to all normal activities. Treatments such as (hands on) mobilisations and soft tissues techniques/stretches, taping, bracing, and always exercises for you to do each day at home.