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Ankle & Foot Problems      "I was back to playing basketball and running more...

Foot and ankle problems are among the most common maladies of the body. For example, among the body's major joints, the ankle is the most frequently injured. In hospital emergency rooms, ankle ligament sprains are the most commonly seen injury to muscles or bones. Participation in sports/aerobics can sometimes lead to ankle sprain (for example, up to 40% of all basketball injuries involve the ankle).

The most common foot problem though is Pronation. In pronation, some of the bones of the foot drop to a less stable position because the foot arches are too weak to keep them in proper alignment. The arches themselves may be unnaturally stretched ("flat feet"), and stress on the entire foot increases. Another common problem -- one that is often found along with pronation -- is Plantar Fascitis, a stress irritation of the sheath of elastic tissues running nearly the entire length of the foot. If not treated, either condition can lead to progressive development of foot malfunction and discomfort. Feet can become "tired and achy" or experience a burning pain, and walking can begin to feel "clumsy" as you try to move your foot in a way that avoids further pain.

What causes foot and ankle problems?

From the time you learn to walk, your feet assume three crucial functions: the support your body whenever you stand, walk or run; they assist you in achieving movement from one place to another; and they help protect your bones and soft tissues from damaging shock stress as you move. Being overweight, having minor structural defects in the feet, or injuries -- all of these factors can contribute to additional foot and body stress. So even though one - quarter of all of the bones in your body are in your feet, having to perform these three strenuous tasks day after day can (and often does) lead to some type of foot and/or body problem. Itís not surprising to learn, therefore, that by the age of twenty, nearly 80% of us have some kind of foot problem, and by the age forty almost everybody does.

Some experts believe that a heel spur is the body's attempt to strengthen its foundation. Being overweight, having abnormal biomechanics, or running regularly on hard surfaces can cause excessive stress on the foot, which may lead to the production of a spur. Other authorities contend that spurs are a normal part of the aging process; some studies have shown that calcaneal spurs are a normal part of the aging process; some studies have shown that calcaneal spurs are more frequently found in people after age 50. Current data currently available estimates that between 11% and 16% of the population have heel spurs. It is also interesting to note that spurs occur almost twice as often in adult females as they do in adult males.

An acute ankle injury generally results from a sudden turning in ward of the foot while supporting the body's weight, or an external force hitting the body from the side. The quick, extreme pressure placed upon the ligaments around the ankle can cause them to tear. A chronic ankle injury often develops over a long period of time, and can occur if the foot's posture is unstable. This weakens the ligaments surrounding the ankle joint, making them more likely to tear.

Chiropractic care for foot and ankle problems:

Chiropractic is not a glorified aspirin. It is neither a pain therapy nor a treatment for foot-pain. Yet, foot pain sufferers are turning to their neighborhood chiropractors in record numbers because chiropractors treat one of the most common causes of foot problems. Chiropractors are licensed health care professionals highly trained to analyze and determine if a subluxation exists, and then to reduce and correct if it possible.

Depending upon your specific condition, Dr. Cady can probably provide you with a conservative (i.e., non-surgical) treatment program that can help both your feet and your entire posture feel and function better. But before such a program begins, he or she may want to perform a complete examination, which may include checking for tenderness in the foot, analyzing the posture, taking x-rays, watching how you walk, and looking over you shoes for signs of improper wear. The treatment you receive will probably focus in general on reducing swelling, relieving pain, restoring functional movement and position through manipulation (adjustment), protecting your foot from additional stress, and strengthening your foundation, Based upon the findings, Dr. Cady can develop a program containing all or some of the following:

  • Rest: a decrease or stoppage of running and jumping exercises is often indicated.
  • Ice the foot: to help bring down any swelling.
  • Manipulation: (adjustment) of the foot to stabilize your postural foundation and to help relieve related stress/pain to the rest of your body.
  • Soft Tissue Work: to flush out the swelling associated with ankle injuries. Dr. Cady has successfully returned acute ankle sprains to normal function in days instead of weeks.
  • Exercise: to help build muscle strength and joint stability.

Call us at 408-739-2273 to make an appointment today.