Q: “Since suffering a fall a few months ago and damaging my ligaments, I’ve experienced pain in my ankle. I’ve also been diagnosed with tendonitis in my other ankle, possible as a result of compensating for my injured leg! Could physiotherapy improve things for me?” – Ria, Birmingham
A: Without knowing the specifics of your situation, it’s hard to give you tailored advice, but in general, physiotherapy can indeed provide relief from various types of ankle pain. We’ll address tendonitis first, then discuss ankle sprains and strains in our next post.
Achilles Tendonitis is a relatively common condition that is characterised by inflammation of the Achilles tendon – that’s the taut area above your heel at the base of your leg. It’s classified as an overuse injury, and is often experienced by people who put repeated strain on this part of their leg, such as joggers or jumpers. However, it’s not just athletes who are susceptible to an inflamed Achilles – one of the most common causes of this kind of tendonitis is poor footwear. Flat shoes seem like they may be a safe choice, but many styles offer no support to your foot or ankle, which puts undue strain on the tendon. High heels can also cause a problem by leading to ‘toe walking’.
The good news is that tendonitis is treatable through a combination of rest, exercise, and better footwear. At the onset of pain, it may be difficult to walk without limping. It’s advisable to go easy at this stage, and not put too much weight on the affected ankle. If there’s swelling, apply ice. Following this, you’ll need to work in order to regain your range of motion and restore muscle strength, which physiotherapy can certainly help with. Your physiotherapist can guide you through a number of exercises specifically designed to increase your mobility. Furthermore, physiotherapists can offer advice regarding footwear, prescribing insoles or discussing different types of shoe.
Make sure you don’t do too much, too soon, and consult a physiotherapist if you need to. At The Physiotherapy Partners, we provide advice and training plans to clients across the West Midlands and Worcestershire from our clinics in Birmingham, Halesowen, and Kidderminster, and we’d be happy to help you.
We’ll follow up in a couple of weeks’ time with a post covering how physiotherapy can help with ankle sprains and strains.
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