Injury, overuse or conditions causing inflammation involving any of the bones, ligaments or tendons in the foot and ankle can cause pain. There are 26 bones that make up the foot and two long bones that stack on top of the foot, forming the ankle joint. Given the high number of bones, there can be more complex injuries to this area.
- Nerve injury is injury or compression of a nerve that may result in intense burning pain, numbness or tingling. Common nerve injuries are neuromas and peripheral neuropathy.
- Arthritis which is joint inflammation and the most common type is osteoarthritis (joint degeneration). The increased inflammation in the joint affects the surrounding muscles, ligaments and tendons leading to pain and stiffness.
- Ankle ligament strain, sprain is usually caused by trauma that is a result of direct contact, ‘rolling’ or twisting ankle, falling or poor foot/ankle biomechanics. Some of the trauma can lead to a tear in the ligaments.
- Plantar fasciitis can be caused by traction or compression. In traction plantar fasciitis, there is repeated overstretch of the area. The most common reason is poor foot biomechanics (overpronation) or weakness of the foot arch muscles. The other type is compression plantar fasciitis that is a result of direct trauma. Landing on a sharp object can bruise the plantar fasciitis.
Pilates and Physical Therapy a powerful combination for helping to ease foot and ankle pain! The focus is on proper biomechanics and movement in the lower leg, which helps heal many of the foot/ankle injuries.