Ankle, Foot, & Heel Pain

A Well-Adjusted Life

Understanding Ankle Pain, Foot Pain, & Heel Pain, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Image depicting ankle, foot, or heel pain

Get ankle, heel, and foot pain relief with Good Life Chiropractic in Campbell CA 95008

Ankle and foot structures may not be the home of our Central Nervous System, but they definitely play a significant role in our survival and overall function.

A single foot is comprised of 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments, 33 joints, and 26 bones.

That means our feet have over 52 bones in our feet, one-quarter of the bones in our entire body.

These small articulations, carrying our entire weight, account for our incredible range of motion and agility (think of a gymnast or a tap dancer).

But, such a range of motion also leads to instability and injuries that can cause foot, ankle, or heel pain.

"...over 20% of the time in my practice, the cause of chronic foot pains has nothing to do with the foot or ankle at all." - Dr. Sun

A thorough doctor first starts an evaluation by understanding the mode of injury.

image of a man holding his heel in pain

Ankle and heel pain are no fun, but relief is available.

Did the foot pain, ankle pain, or heel pain begin with a sudden trauma or a slow onset of chronic injuries such as running using bad shoes or doing Zumba dance without warming or stretching (these are some common ones in my office)?

After the mode of injury is understood, a precise diagnosis is essential for a successful treatment plan.

With over 20 joint articulations, it is easy for a chiropractor to focus the treatment on the wrong foot region.

A Diagnosis Must Take These Facts Into Consideration

Is it a Bone Problem?

  • Misalignment(s)
  • Bunion(s) or malformation of bones due to poor foot ergonomics
  • Tumor, or systemic bone diseases, including Gout, osteoarthritis, RA

Is it a Muscle Problem?

  • Muscle sprain
  • Spasms, or hypertonic muscles

Is it a Tendon Problem?

  • Tendonitis
  • Tendon tear
  • Special attention must be put on Achilles’ tendon

Is it a Ligament Problem?

  • Ligament strains or tear
  • Special attention must be put on the Deltoid ligament
  • This ligament is almost always injured in ankle inversion sprains

Is it a Nerve Problem?

  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Nerve damage due to trauma

These are just some of the basic diagnostic questions a good clinician must answer before rendering treatments.

Other Causes of Pain

To make it more complicated, I have noticed that over 20% of the time in my practice, the cause of chronic foot pains has nothing to do with the foot or ankle. 

A misaligned hip or sacroiliac joint can cause internal or external rotation of the entire leg, leading to pronation (inward tilt) or supination (outward tilt) of the foot.

Such lack of alignment causes the weight of the patient to fall upon joints that may not be designed for long-term weight-bearing function.

Thus, ligaments start to fatigue, and tendons start to inflame and swell, muscles start to tighten up or even scar due to micro-tears, and voila!!! we have a full-blown problem such as "plantar fasciitis" or "tendonitis," or just simple calcification of the tendon under the heel bone, also called "heel spur."

Initiating Foot Pain Relief

A good chiropractic treatment plan must first decrease the pain and discomfort of the patient and then stabilize the ankle and foot region for fast recovery.

Ankle braces or wraps can produce excellent stability and ensure significant healing.

If present, it is imperative to decrease lower limb inflammation by utilizing rest, ice, and elevation and compression treatments, also known as "RICE."

Adjustments to the Foot

After this stage is completed, I like to begin foot adjustments to align and release any joint fixations to improve overall foot function.

Home exercises and rehabilitation are essential for fast and lasting foot or ankle injury recovery.

A good foot evaluation at our office takes about 20-30 minutes, and the treatment plan may be as short as one visit to 4-6 weeks of adjustments and rehab work.

In the case of rare, severe, or progressive diseases, MRIs and second opinions from orthopedic medical doctors may be necessary.

What To Do...

If you are suffering from ankle pain, heel pain, or overall foot pain, call our office for an evaluation of your condition.

I look forward to helping you get relief from your ankle pain, foot pain, or heel pain.

Dr. Sun Hwang, D.C.

Ankle, Foot, & Heel Pain FAQs

Q - Can chiropractic care help with foot or ankle pain?

A - Yes, chiropractors are trained to treat all joints of the body, including the ankle and foot. They can help alleviate pain and improve function through a variety of techniques including manual adjustments, soft tissue therapy, and exercises.

Q - What might cause foot, heel, or ankle pain?

A - Pain in these areas can be due to a variety of causes, such as acute injuries like sprains, chronic conditions like plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis, or biomechanical issues like flat feet or high arches.

Q - What can I expect during a chiropractic treatment for foot or ankle pain?

A - Your chiropractor will first perform a thorough evaluation of your pain, including your medical history and a physical exam. The treatment may involve adjustments to the foot or ankle, soft tissue therapy, therapeutic exercises, and potentially advice on footwear and orthotics.

Q - How many treatments will I need before I see improvement in my foot or ankle pain?

A - This depends on various factors, including the cause and severity of your pain, your overall health, and how well you respond to treatment. Some people may see improvement after a few treatments, while others might need more.

Q - Can I prevent foot, heel, or ankle pain with chiropractic care?

A - Regular chiropractic care can help prevent some forms of foot and ankle pain by ensuring proper alignment and function of the joints, improving strength and flexibility, and advising on proper footwear and lifestyle habits.

Related Posts

#footpain #heelpain #anklepain