Foot Physio in Newcastle
Fitness Physiotherapy in Newcastle treat foot injuries with evidence based treatments for pain relief and return to sport and daily activities. Evidence based treatments have been shown to be effective through clinical research, giving people a successful return to sport and life.
The foot is a complex joint made up of bones that connect to the ankle joint bones and then extend into the long bones of the foot called the metatarsals. In between each joint is cartilage. Ligaments and a surrounding capsule hold the joints together, keeping the joint stable with the muscles and tendons which provide the movement.
Underneath lies a structure that helps support the called the plantar fascia.
Common foot injuries
Foot osteoarthritis is the normal aging process in the foot. This usually involves loss of joint cartilage. Joint cartilage normally provides a protective layer over bone and reduces in height as we age. Other structures such as ligaments, tendons as well bone shape can change over time. Some of these changes can result in pain, but the extent of the injuries is not consistent with the degree of pain people experience. Pain is also dependent psychosocial factors.
Recent research points to exercise as an effective method to manage osteoarthritis, and that exercise is needed to produce cartilage.
The plantar fascia is a fibrous band of tissue starting at the heel bone (calcaneus) and extending along the sole of the foot connecting onto the toes. The plantar fascia acts as a structural support to the arches in the foot.
The plantar fascia can become strained and inflammed when the forces exerted outweigh what the tissue is able to manage. Commonly the pain is at the heel but can extend along the length of the fascia.
The research around plantar fasciitis indicates that a graded exercise program gives long term relief of pain and improved function.
Fractures are breaks in bone and usually result from compressive trauma. The management is very specific and dependent on the type of fracture, location and if there are separate structures injured. More severe cases will require a longer period of rest in a cast or splint and all will benefit from a strengthening program with a longer period for return to sport and activities.
We have experience in this area as we work closely with orthopaedic surgeons providing physio services for them at Lingard Hospital, managing fractures on a daily basis.
Metatarsalgia (forefoot pain)
Forefoot pain results from repetitive stresses on the long bones of the foot called your metatarsals. Pain usually arises from the second long bone which can take more of the forces in the foot during activities. Increased pronation (flat feet), weakness in the supporting foot muscles can predispose people to this injury.
The management of this injury usually involves a period of relative rest, activity modifications and a graded exercise program to correct the underlying causes of the pain.
Other treatments can include taping, and sometimes a short period with orthotics or arch supports.