Foot pain (Feb 24)

INSIGHT: Running injuries and foot pain

As Spring approaches and we all look forward to longer days, there’s every chance that you are thinking about fitness, adding to your usual Saturday morning park run or even stepping up your marathon training.

Here at The Cloisters, we see many patients exhibiting foot pain often resulting from a running injury but also more routine cases of slow onset conditions. Here’s our guidance on the types of pain to identify and how physiotherapy can be a valuable approach for managing and alleviating many of these conditions.  

1. Plantar Fasciitis:

   – Description: Inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes.

   – Physiotherapy: Treatment may include stretching and strengthening exercises for the foot and calf muscles, as well as manual therapies to reduce tension in the plantar fascia.

 2. Achilles Tendonitis:

   – Description: Inflammation of the Achilles tendon, often due to overuse or improper footwear.

   – Physiotherapy: Focus on strengthening the calf muscles, improving flexibility, and gradually reintroducing activity through a controlled exercise program.

 3. Bunions:

   – Description: A bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe, causing pain and deformity.

   – Physiotherapy: Exercises to strengthen the muscles around the big toe joint, along with manual therapy to improve joint mobility and reduce pain.

 4. Morton’s Neuroma:

   – Description: Thickening of the tissue around a nerve between the bases of the toes, causing pain and numbness.

   – Physiotherapy: Treatment may involve foot and ankle exercises, along with techniques to improve foot mechanics and reduce nerve compression.

5. Metatarsalgia:

   – Description: Pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot.

   – Physiotherapy: Emphasis on strengthening the muscles that support the foot arch, along with addressing any gait abnormalities contributing to the condition.

 6. Lateral foot pain:

   – Description: Most commonly due to inflammation of the peroneal muscles’ tendons due to history of ankle sprain, overuse, or improper training shoes or terrain.

   – Physiotherapy: Managing inflammation and pain, gentle strengthening exercises, along with education about correct running style, proper shoes and a progressive return to running/sport activity.

 7. Medial foot pain:

   – Description: Most commonly due to inflammation of the tibialis posterior tendon due to overuse, overpronation of the foot or improper training.

   – Physiotherapy: Managing inflammation and pain through gentle stretching and strengthening exercises, along with education about correct running style, proper shoes and foot arch support.

 8. Stress Fractures:

   – Description: Small cracks in the bones due to repetitive stress.

   – Physiotherapy: Initially, non-weight-bearing exercises and activities may be recommended, followed by a gradual return to weight-bearing activities as the bone heals.

HOW WE CAN HELP YOU

Physiotherapy for foot pain often involves a combination of exercises, stretches, manual therapy, and education on proper footwear and biomechanics. We can assess the individual’s specific condition and tailor a treatment plan to address the underlying causes of foot pain and improve overall foot function.

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