Aching or pained feet are estimated to affect 75% of Canadians at some point in their lives. And an ache in your foot can range from a mildly uncomfortable sensation that fades as soon as you put your feet up for the day, to shooting or severe pain that lasts for weeks, months, or even longer. Thankfully, regardless of the severity, physiotherapists are able to identify the cause of and treat pain in your feet to help ensure that it goes away and stays away.
Common Kinds of Pain or Aches in Your Feet
Pain or aches in the feet can express themselves in a number of different ways, generally depending on the root cause of the pain. Here are examples of some of the most common kinds of foot aches and pains, their root cause and when to book an appointment
This condition is also called tendinopathy and is the result of an injury to and resulting inflammation of your Achilles tendon in your heel. The Achilles tendon is a large tendon connecting your calf to the back of your heel.
This condition generally expresses itself as stiffness and pain in the area surrounding this tendon, especially during activity and in the morning.
This injury is most often the result of repetitive strain to the tendon, often by ramping up physical activity like running or hiking without much preparation or training. This condition is often relatively easy to treat early when at-home remedies like icing dispel the pain. However, if you let it develop for too long without seeing a physiotherapist, it can develop into a more serious or chronic source of pain.
This condition is a painful inflammation to the ball of your foot, often caused by participating in activities with lots of running and jumping or by wearing shoes that are too tight for your foot. This injury can often express itself as sharp stabbing pain when engaging or flexing your foot while walking (especially barefoot) in addition to numbness and tingling in the toes.
While this condition can be managed with at-home remedies like icing and by wearing a well-fitted shoe with lots of foot support, physiotherapy is a surefire way to alleviate your pain and ensure you don't reinjure yourself in the future.
This condition is the inflammation of a thick band of tissue running along the bottom arch of your foot called the plantar fascia caused by small tears in its tendons and ligaments. This pain generally expresses itself as a sharp and significant pain in your heels early in the morning (probably during your first few steps) and as a dull ache or bruising throughout the day as consistent use of the injured foot worsens the condition.
As soon as you notice this kind of pain, contact a physical therapist as soon as possible. Plantar fasciitis can become constant if not promptly identified and addressed.
Physiotherapy Foot and Ankle Pain Treatments
As with any physical therapy, the kind of injury or pain you are experiencing will be the biggest determinant of the kind of treatment you will receive for your foot ache or pain.
That being said, there are a number of common treatments and tests run by physiotherapists to address injuries, aches and pains in the feet. Passive physiotherapy treatments like hot and cold packs will be administered, as well as physical mobilization/manipulation of the affected tissues and joints. Dry needling is used to release the tight muscles, predominantly the calf. Persistent, long standing difficulty, from tendinitis and plantar fasciitis, may benefit from Radial Shockwave Therapy.
Our Nepean physiotherapists will also conduct testing like gait analysis (the examination of how you walk or run and how it may be contributing to a recurring injury) to determine the root cause of your injury if it isn't obvious and then provide you with prescribed exercises that are tailored to your specific injury and improving your stride to ensure you don't reinjure yourself again in the future.
Do you have an ache or pain in your foot and aren't sure of the cause? Our physiotherapists may be able to help!
Ask the staff at our physiotherapy center about physical therapy for foot pain today.
Welcome to the Nepean Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy Centre blog, where we provide lots of helpful tips, news, information and advice about physiotherapy and massage treatments, as well as general health and wellness, in Nepean and Ottawa.