Foot and ankle pain - in general

As Osteopaths, Andrew Gilmour and Felix Cory-Wright are often required to assess and treat foot and ankle problems.
 
These include:-
  • Simple mechanical strain such as strain of the ankle or foot joints as a result of a fall or 'turning the ankle over'. Osteopathic manipulation, friction, needling and local steroid injection can help.
  • Fractures as a result of an ankle strain or repeated trauma e.g. walking or running. Careful assessment and advice are indicated to facilitate healing without setback.
  • Plantar fasciitis which is pain under the heel approximately 4-6 cm in from the back of the heel. It is often caused by walking or running on hard ground and change in patterns of activity or footwear.
  • Morton's neuroma - a thickening of the nerve running between the metatarsals (often the 3-4th). It can be treated using manipulation and arch supports, injection or surgery.
  • Fallen arches and other arch problems. Arch problems can be complex and there are a number of ways to approach them. Andrew Gilmour and Felix Cory-Wright as Osteopaths can help improve foot function but may enlist the help of a podiatrist in evaluating foot biomechanics.
  • Bunions (called Hallux Valgus) - Osteopathic treatment can help improve foot function and reduce the painful effects of bunions. Orthotics and appropriate footwear can be helpful but if the bunion progresses too far, surgery may be indicated by a podiatric surgeon or an orthopaedic surgeon.
  • Bursa problems (bursitis) in the foot- There are a number of bursae in the foot. These are fluid sacks which help reduce the effects of friction. The most common are situated under the big toe, under the heel, behind the heel and around the achilles tendon. Injection of local steroid by Dr Chris Rufford at Andrew Gilmour and Associates  can be helpful. It is important to assess foot function and reduce the biomechanical effects of friction and a podiatrist can be helpful in this.
Other problems closely related to foot and ankle problems are:-
  • Achilles Tendon problems - These are complex and varied in nature and severity. There is a tendon sheath surrounding the tendon and this can be inflammed or the tendon itself can suffer partial or complete rupture. These problems require careful assessment and Andrew Gilmour and Felix Cory Wright are experienced in this. They often work at resolving these problems in conjunction with a podiatrist or lower limb surgeon.
  • Shin Splints - Pain is felt at the front of the lower leg with onset relating to changes in patterns of activity or footwear. They are common in patients building up to events such as 'The London Marathon' or 'Moon walk'. Pain is usually increased by walking or running and can be exsquisite! Osteopathic massage and stretching can help combined with biomechanical assessment of foot function. Training and activity schedules should be modified to allow soonest return to activity without setback.

These are some of the commonest foot and ankle problems. They require careful assessment and often a multidisciplinary approach is the best way forward in corporating an Osteopath, biomechanical podiatrist, ultrasound and MRI techniques and a surgeon when needed.

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