Ankle Pain, Foot Pain, & Plantar Fasciitis

While the ankle & foot are designed to bear great weight, their complex structure of small bones and soft tissue is concentrated in a narrow and rather vulnerable space. Ankle injuries, heel injuries, and foot problems can develop over time as the result of variables or dysfunctions in a person’s walking and running pattern. Ankles are most susceptible to acute injury.

Ankle Pain, Foot Pain, & Heel Pain Symptoms

Ankle pain, most often the result of a sprained ankle or ankle strain, can vary depending on the degree of damage to the ligaments and other soft tissue. Often swelling and bruising accompany ankle pain.

Foot pain can be dull and aching or can present as a stabbing, sharp pain. Most often, foot pain is concentrated in the heel, either as pain under the heel or pain behind the heel. Sharp heel pain is most commonly diagnosed as plantar fasciitis.

Ankle & Foot Pain Image

Common Ankle & Foot Injuries

By layering best practices from his sports medicine training with the latest physical and chiropractic therapies, we expertly resolves painful conditions of the ankle, foot, and heel including:

  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Ankle Instability
  • Ankle Sprain/Ankle Strain
  • Arthritis and Osteoarthritis
  • Bone Spurs and Heel Spurs
  • Gout
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Retrocalcaneal Bursitis
  • Shin Splints
  • Stress Fracture
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a tightening of the plantar fascia band connecting the toes to the heel bone. A condition of overuse and strain, plantar fasciitis develops gradually as the fascia band becomes increasingly irritated and inflamed, and sometimes torn. Over time, the damaged tissue grows tense and inhibits movement or causes pain and discomfort when called upon to stretch.

Plantar fasciitis is characterized by a sharp and stabbing pain at the bottom of the heel, especially first thing in the morning. The pain may decrease throughout the day as foot flexibilities increases.

Runners are particularly susceptible to plantar fasciitis symptoms, as well a painful secondary condition called heel spurs. When plantar fasciitis continues untreated, heel spurs form as calcium deposits where the plantar fascia band connects to the heel. Heel spurs may not cause pain themselves, but they are a strong diagnostic indicator of plantar fasciitis.

What Causes Heel Pain, Ankle Pain, & Foot Pain?

As we step or run we engage each of the bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles of the ankle and foot. Not only does the pressure of the body’s weight impact the ankle and foot, so does the overall function of the spine. Aside from acute injury to the ankle or foot, pain in this area is usually the result of an abnormal or imbalanced gait applying stress on a certain part of the foot or heel. Variances in arch, from a flat foot to a high arch, also impact foot and heel function.

Bruising, tightening, and other soft tissue damage cause a painful step. Left untreated foot and heel pain can lead to bone spurs and other more serious conditions.

Treatment for Foot & Ankle Problems & Treating Plantar Fasciitis

  • Soft tissue mobilization
  • Ultrasound
  • Iontophoresis
  • Electric stimulation (ESTM/TENS)
  • Neural stretching
  • Spinal mobilization
  • Active Release Technique® (ART)
  • Stretching
  • Heat Therapy
  • Manual traction therapy
  • Postural reeducation and strengthening therapy
  • Education

    • Invest in proper footwear, particularly for sports participation
    • Women should limit time spent in high heels or flat shoes lacking arch support
    • Runners should replace sneakers frequently, approximately every 350-500 miles
    • A healthy weight will reduce undue pressure on your ankles, heels, and feet