If you are reading this, stop! Don't move. Hold the position you are currently sitting in. Try not to shuffle or move. Do you notice anything? In what positions are your feet? Do you have more weight on one foot than the other? Are both your feet flat on the floor? Is one rolled in or out?
So, why is the ankle important?
Your feet are the foundation of your spine. They bear an incredible amount of weight and are highly mobile and fragile. There are 26 articulating bones in each foot that provide dynamic movements. Therefore stabilisation of the ankle is crucial to weight bear through unstable surfaces.
Hence, when we talk about ankle pain, we speak of no minor issue. Ankle pain can arise from 3 main things:
The most common cause of ankle instability is ankle sprains. Ankle sprains occur when the tendons and ligaments of your ankle, which provide stability, are overstretched and injured through a traumatic event. If your ankle feels like it 'gives way' while walking or during activities, this will increase your ankle instability and potentially destabilise the whole spine. People sometimes ignore this type of pain, yet pain in the ankle changes the overall sitting, standing and moving patter and balance of your body negatively.
Flat feet :
When the foot is pronated or flat, it means the arch of the foot has fallen. As a result of lost arches, the foot has less shock absorption and makes a less stable base for the spine. We often see patients with lower back and knee pain and by assessing the foot first, we can improve much of their discomfort. In addition, if you experience aches and pains in the feet, do not ignore it because this can lead to Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendonitis.
If the foot pain persists, you might experience issues with the plantar fascia - the soft, springy tissue on the underside of the foot. With an injury, wear and tear, this tissue gets inflamed - a condition called plantar fasciitis. Usual symptoms include sharp pain in the heel and underside of the foot when walking.
Can we help? And if so, how?
Yes, help we can! But, due to the complex nature of the foot and its often overuse in daily activities - which aggravates ankle pain, we are using four steps to treat it successfully and fast.
Step one: Deal with pain and inflammation. For this step, we are using the MLS medical laser for the ankle's joints and tendons. The MLS Laser will reduce pain and swelling and promote recovery to the ankle.
Step two: Address the underlying issue. Chiropractic treatment can help restore the joint mechanics of the ankle to reduce pressure and tension, which in turn relieves pain and stabilises your spine.
Step three: Recovery Continued. Rehab exercises aim to improve your ankle's strength, function, and balance, which can improve ankle stability and reduce the risk of future sprains.
Step four: Prevention. Orthotics will help reduce pain by lifting and supporting the underside of the foot - we have to address the fallen arches and support in preventing future flare-ups.
So, for the next few days, try to notice how your foot rests in different positions like sitting at a computer, watching Netflix, or even driving a car. Notice if your foot rolls inward. If that is the case, the outer or lateral ligaments or tendons of the ankle are overstretched and may lead to instability or imbalances.
Yeung MS, Chan KM, So CH, et alAn epidemiological survey on ankle sprain.British Journal of Sports Medicine 1994;28:112-116.
Wilkerson, G. B., & Nitz, A. J. (1994). Dynamic Ankle Stability: Mechanical and Neuromuscular Interrelationships, Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 3(1), 43-57. Retrieved Jul 2, 2021, from http://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/jsr/3/1/article-p43.xml