Common Foot Problems
A painful inflammation of the plantar fascia. Often called 'Heel Spur'. A fairly common condition associated with overuse and microtrauma to the insertion of the plantar fascia under the heel. Activities on hard surfaces, excess weight and inappropriate footwear all contribute to this condition. Treatment includes activity modification, footwear advice and occasionally biomechanical intervention using either temporary strapping or short/long term orthotic prescription in some cases.
Inflammation and pain associated with compression of the digital nerves as they enter the toes. Usually involves the 3rd and 4th interspace but can occur in other regions. Often mimics intermetatarsal bursitis but distinguishable with imaging. Compression of the forefoot or increased forefoot pressures contribute to this condition. Treatment includes identifying underlying structural components and addressing compressive forces involved. Occasionally orthopaedic referral is required.
Shin Splints (Exertion Based Shin Pain)
A relatively complex condition relating to pain in the front or inside of the shins associated with activity. Often associated with over training or returning to activity too quickly. Ensuring an appropriate training regime, appropriate footwear, massage and physiotherapy all help alleviating symptoms. Adequate support/cushioning may be required through orthotic prescription.
Pain and inflammation associated with maltracking of the knee cap as if passes across the femur. Assessment involves investigation into the musculature around the knee to ensure correct function. Often occurs in relationship to an internal knee position coupled with the pronated foot. Exercises, stretching, footwear advice and orthotic prescription are often indicated.
A growth plate derived pain in the growing foot. Manifests with pain around the heel in the young sports person. Reducing shock to the heel, increasing calf muscle length and activity modification all play a crucial role in treatment.
A proliferation of bone normally associated with the big toe joint but not limited to this region. Poor biomechanics and structural deformities often contribute to the development of bunions. Long term use of inappropriate footwear or trauma may also play a role. Understanding which elements have caused the development of the bunion help form a treatment pathway for the condition. Painful bunions may warrant orthopaedic referral especially if space within footwear is becoming an issue.