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Foot and Ankle Pain

Published on: Friday 28th December 2018

The foot and ankle is made up of a number of small bones interconnected by ligaments, muscles and fascia all working together to give the strength, stability and flexibility the foot and ankle needs to function properly.
Common conditions of the foot, ankle and areas which can give rise to pain include:

Acquired flat foot – when the inner side of the foot or inner arch flattens. The foot may roll over to the inner side (known as over-pronation). It is often apparent if the heels of shoes wear out quickly and unevenly. Over-pronation can damage your ankle joint and achilles tendon (the tendon at the back of your ankle) and can also cause shin pain. Symptoms can include, pain, swelling, change in foot shape and knee pain or swelling.

Plantar fasciitis –is pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia – the tough fibrous band of tissue that supports the arches of the foot and runs under the small bones from the underside of the heel and sole towards the toes, Often, people who have plantar fasciitis describe it as a sharp pain, most often under the heel or instep of the foot. It tends to be made worse by standing for long periods of time in poor footwear. Sufferers commonly mention that it is worse when standing after being off their feet for a long time, and it can hurt more putting the foot on the floor first thing in the morning. The sole of the foot can occasionally feel a little numb, tingly or swell slightly. In some cases of plantar fasciitis, a small spur of bone can grow where the plantar fascia attaches and pulls on the heel which can cause a sharp pain.

Achilles pain –The Achilles tendon is formed by the tendon of the two calf muscles, the gastrocnemius and soleus coming together and attaching onto the bone at the back of the heel called the calcaneus) Pain, inflammation or tendonitis in the Achilles can cause pain and tightness in this area.

Sprained ankle. Typically the result of a sudden twisting or “going over” on the ankle joint and more commonly it is the ligaments on the outside of the ankle that are strained. Typical symptoms are swelling, bruising, pain and instability of the ankle. Sometimes an x-ray is required to rule out any fracture. Rest, ice, elevation and compression are often advisable in the first 24 to 48 hours.

How can an osteopath help with foot and ankle pain?

Depending on the diagnosis and your age and fitness we can use a variety of gentle massage and manipulative techniques to increase the mobility of the joints and the flexibility of the muscles in the foot.
We will often look at muscles and joints in the lower limb, the knee, hip and lower back and may treat any joint restrictions and muscle tightness we find there. Often improving the movement in the joints of the lower will help the foot and ankle function better.
We may offer specific balancing, strengthening or loosening exercises
We may offer advice on strapping and brace supports, footwear and any lifestyle factors that might be hindering healing. We may refer you to a podiatrist for their opinion and specialist foot supports
X-rays, scans or other tests may be required to make a diagnosis  and we may refer you to your  GP for any additional  investigations and treatment  such as advice on pain killers and anti-inflammatory medications

I recommend Charley thoroughly. I have had years of sudden onsets of back pain that have interfered with daily life. I have never been sure of the difference between an osteopath, a chiropractor and a physio (despite even receiving some physio in the past that didn’t resolve the issue) and I was a bit sceptical of seeing an osteopath at first. I was incredibly impressed with Charley’s thorough initial consultation, checking every avenue for my back pain. The treatments have been remarkable and I am shocked by how quickly I have responded to Charley’s treatment and her detailed exercise plan to support my core and increase my back mobility. Charley’s manner is friendly; she puts you at ease whilst being professionally direct and always very attentive. I strongly recommend Charley.

Tariq, Colliers Wood

Following a breech caesarean birth, Max developed a tendency to turn his head to one side, and he developed a visibly flattened side of head. We were fortunate enough to know Steve's expertise in paediatric osteopathy and it was clear to see how passionate and informed he was regarding treatments and possible outcomes. Throughout the non-invasive treatment we felt totally at ease with Steve, as did Max who fell asleep! I would highly recommend Steve. We are extremely grateful for his time, care and attention to detail.

Andreas, Bex and Max. Raynes Park

I have been seeing Steve on and off for years. Every time I see him I feel as if I have been put back together. He’s an incredible osteopath. I highly recommend the practice because of their ethos and very high standard of treatment.

Claire, SW19

It was my first time seeing an osteopath and Charley was incredible. She is both knowledgeable and personable, she makes you feel completely comfortable and in extremely safe hands. I really feel like she wants you to get better and to really get to the root of what is causing the pain and discomfort. The exercises and stretches she taught me have become part of my daily routine and I have noticed a real difference. Thank you Charley!

Natasha, Mitcham

Lara’s thoughtful, gentle, confident and knowledgeable approach results in the most expert therapeutic massage one could hope to receive. The outcome is therefore a very holistic one in which specific discomforts have been eased with and overall relaxation achieved at the same time. 


Helen, Colliers Wood

Steve always manages to put me back together again - then life is a pleasure!

Erica, Africa

I rate Stephen very highly and would recommend him to anyone.

Jonathan M

I thought the treatment for pain in my knee was excellent. I felt I was being considered as an individual as Stephen listened to everything I said and gave a treatment appropriate to my needs. His approach was non-invasive. I began to notice an improvement in my knee after a couple of days and the pain has not recurred. To me, it felt as if each treatment enabled my body to correct itself and rebalance.

Sabine, Wimbledon

I saw Simon regularly to help me with symptoms of multiple slipped discs. Cannot recommend enough - as a first time Osteo patient I found Simon to be professional, helpful and friendly. Everything was done at my own pace and fully explained so I knew what it all meant. Many thanks again!

Oliver, Colliers Wood

I have had several treatments with Steve over the years for neck pain, back pain and under active thyroid. Steve has natural healing hands as well as a bank of experience and knowledge, which enhance his effectiveness. He is a very skilled practitioner both sensitive and subtle with powerful results; I have completely recovered from these conditions.

Chrissie C Streatham