Have You Experienced or Been Experiencing a Foot or Ankle Injury?
Whether you are experiencing or have experienced a foot or ankle injury, you may also be experiencing or have experienced some other aches and pains along the way. Many people/athletes tend to experience other aches and pain, whether it is experienced during or after their recovery from an ankle or foot injury. This is often experienced due to a decrease in
ankle mobility. The lack of ankle mobility causes an increase in force distribution to nearby joints, such as the knee. This decrease of ankle mobility can also potentially lead to another
ankle or foot injury.
Does a Foot or Ankle Injury Affect the Low Back or Surrounding Joints?
Simply put, yes. We have seen many patients who come in to see us due to their low back pain but also mention a past medical history of prior foot or ankle injuries. Likewise, we have had a handful of patients who have come in to see us due to their foot or ankle pain/injury and are experiencing accompanying near joint pain and/or low back pain. Whether you are experiencing shin splints, ankle sprain, Achilles tendonitis, Morton’s neuroma, or plantar fasciitis, it can lead to experiencing other aches and pain if not addressed properly.
It is amazing to see how our body reacts when it experiences a foot or ankle injury. The purpose of the foot is to stabilize, and the ankle is to allow mobility. Oftentimes, a foot or ankle injury occurs due to loss of foot stability and loss of ankle mobility respectfully. The loss of foot stability leads some people to experience pain along the bottom of the foot or plantar fasciitis since the foot flattens out in an attempt to stabilize. The loss of ankle mobility will simply lead to affecting the nearest joint or knee since the ankle is “locked up.” This leads the knee to lose stability and increases the possibility of experiencing a knee injury. The changes in joint mobility and stability start to affect nearby joints and move either up or down the chain. Our body sends signals when it is trying to compensate for stabilization and often leads to one experiencing pain or an injury.
Would You Identify as an Athlete at a High Risk of a Foot or Ankle Injury?
Out of all of the different foot and ankle conditions or injuries, a ligamentous ankle injury is the most common across all sports, with lateral ankle sprain being the most common. Chronic ankle injuries are also often related to prior ankle sprains or overuse syndromes of surrounding soft tissues. Lateral ankle sprains are most commonly seen in soccer, football and rugby, running/jogging/and hiking, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, and racquet sports (such as tennis and badminton).
The Top Three Risk Factors to an Ankle Sprain:
Previous ankle ligament sprain
A prior ankle injury or previous ankle sprain impairs and changes the
neuromuscular control. It changes the stability of the joint’s ligaments. There is
an increase of risk in recurrence during the first 12 months post injury.
This is a no brainer, but often overlooked. The risk of any injury increases during
competition vs being in training mode. Athletes are more driven to take “risks”
and push their limits in order to win.
There are some athletes who are not affected when playing a different position.
However, changes in the player’s roles may be challenging to adjust during
competitive play and increases the risk.
Other possible risks to consider are gender differences, limb dominance, muscle strength, and extrinsic factors such as the type of shoe. Now these are commonly up for debate and would depend on the athlete. This is where we come into play. We will help you restore the athlete you are and guide you along the way to mitigate a reoccurrence of a foot or ankle injury.
An Athlete’s Story:
Take this former patient, for example. This former patient was a high school track & field and cross-country athlete. He came into the clinic concerned about his “SI imbalance.” He expressed that he was unable to run the same and felt that his SI was “imbalanced.” He mentioned he was feeling one side of his hip higher than the other while he was running. He told us his prior chiropractor had told him he had an “imbalance” that needed to be “corrected.” As we dove into his current concerns, he also mentioned he had been experiencing some pain along his mid to lower left leg and down to his left ankle. This athlete told us he wanted to be capable of competing during his current season. He also told us his future goal of becoming an athlete at a collegiate level.
After doing a focused exam and taking a look at his functional movement, we noticed there was more than an “SI imbalance” going on. This athlete had some limb dominance, minimal joint mobility of the hip and ankle, and muscle strength differences. With a proper assessment, we not only worked with him to restore his mobility and augment muscle mass and strength, but we also helped him regain hope in himself.
When he first started with us, he had some doubts about himself being able to participate during the training sessions with his team. He was losing hope of being able to compete during his current season and becoming a collegiate athlete at a D1 level was appearing far to reach. This athlete’s coach noticed him “limping” or relying more on his right side during his runs, so he pulled him out of the training sessions with the team. During his time away from the training sessions with the team, this athlete worked on the exercises we provided him and slowly worked his way back into the team training sessions. This patient went from sitting out training sessions at the beginning of the season since he was “limping” to competing and placing 3rd and 4th at conference. This patient regained his confidence throughout his visits with us. He went from losing hope and confidence in himself to being the most confident he has ever been and refocusing on his future goal of running for a D1 school. He left stronger and faster and he was more determined to go to state his next school year.
Now, this was accomplished since this athlete worked with us to guide him throughout his visits and season. We have helped hundreds of people with foot or ankle pain reach their goals, such as this athlete who was experiencing ankle pain. If you are someone or know of someone who is experiencing foot or ankle pain, then there is some good news for you. You can continue to be the athlete you are and want to become with a proper assessment. We are confident we can help you restore and reach your athletic goals.
Do This Next
If you or anyone you know is dealing with foot or ankle pain, contact our office today to schedule your first visit where we can identify the root of the pain you have been enduring. Call or text us today 630 765 0575. Let's restore those athletic skills!