Foot and Ankle Pain

Condition

Plantar Fasciitis: This condition causes pain in the bottom of the heel. The plantar fascia is a thin ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. It supports the arch in your foot and is important in helping you walk. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common orthopedic complaints. Your plantar fascia ligaments experience a lot of wear and tear in your daily life. Normally, these ligaments act as shock absorbers, supporting the arch of the foot. Too much pressure on your feet can damage or tear the ligaments. The plantar fascia becomes inflamed, and the inflammation causes heel pain and stiffness.

Sprains and strains: These include injuries to the body, often resulting from physical activity. These injuries are common and can range from minor to severe, depending on the incident. Most sprains and strains are minor and don’t require medical attention. Sprains occur at joints and affect ligaments, which connect bone to bone. Strains affect muscles or tendons, which connect muscle to bone. They most often occur at the calf, thigh, or groin.

Arthritis: This condition describes the inflammation of the joints (the points where bones meet) in one or more areas of the body. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, all of which have different causes and treatment methods. The symptoms of arthritis usually appear gradually but they may also occur suddenly. Arthritis is most commonly seen in adults over the age of 65 but it can also develop in children and teens. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, arthritis is more common in women than men and in those that are overweight

Tendinitis: A condition that can be a result of an injury, repetitive movement, aging, or disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Any tendon can develop tendinitis, but you are most likely to develop the condition in your shoulder, elbow, heel, or wrist. Tendinitis may also be called swimmer’s shoulder, jumper’s knee, pitcher’s shoulder, golfer’s or tennis elbow.

From: Healthline

Treatments

Specific Injections:

  • Hyaluronic acid supplements – Although not technically medications, these substances are injected into knee joints to supplement naturally occurring hyaluronic acid. In healthy joints hyaluronic acid acts as a shock absorber and lubricant, allowing joints to move smoothly over each other. However, the acid appears to break down in people with osteoarthritis. Injecting it into a joint may lessen pain and inflammation. The injections are given weekly for three or five weeks, depending on the product (examples are Synvisc and Hyalgan). A small amount of joint fluid is removed first to make room for the hyaluronic acid.
  • Corticosteroid Injections – Doctors sometimes inject corticosteroids directly into the knee joint for quick relief of pain and inflammation. Their benefits may last anywhere from a few days to more than six months. While the injections bring targeted relief to the joint and lack many of the side effects of oral corticosteroid medications, they are not without risks. Repeated knee injections may actually contribute to cartilage breakdown. For that reason your doctor will likely put a limit on the number of injections you can receive.
  • Arthrocentesis – Also called joint fluid aspiration, arthrocentesis is removal of joint fluid through a hollow needle inserted into the joint space of the knee. Although the purpose of removing joint fluid from the knee is usually so that it can be tested in the lab, removing excess fluid can also quickly ease pain and swelling. Often after withdrawing fluid, doctors use the same puncture site where the fluid was removed to inject a corticosteroid preparation and/or anesthetic into the knee joint to further relieve pain and inflammation.

From: Arthritis Foundation

Specific Braces:

  • An elastic bandage ankle support is used to compress the affected area without restricting movement. This type of appliance may be in the form of a long bandage or a pull-on sock. Often used for arthritis pain or Grade I sprains, this flexible brace offers comfort and stability. This ankle support may also be used to prevent injury for those with a weakened joint.
  • Moderate braces for ankle support are used for Grade II sprains or other ligament injuries. Often, these types of injuries cause pain when walking, stiffness, and swelling. The moderate ankle support offers more rigid panels to stabilize the ankle. Velcro or lacing is generally used for a customized, effective fit.
  • A maximum support ankle brace is used for severe injuries including Grade III sprains and ligament ruptures characterized by severe pain, acute swelling, and the inability to rotate the ankle. The goals of using this type of ankle support are to compress the area, allow ambulation with decreased pain, prevent the ankle from rotating inward or outward, and to offer support during rehabilitation.
  • A walking boot may be prescribed for fractures of the foot or ankle, Grade III sprains, or post-operatively for protection and support. The outer shell is typically rigid with padding of either a quilted breathable fabric or air-filled cells. Walking boots are generally fastened securely with Velcro straps. The bottom of the boot is usually fashioned with a rocker sole to decrease stress on the foot.

From: Wise Geek

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