Why Do I Need Podiatry?

Podiatry can be required for issues and pain perhaps you hadn’t thought of as originating in the foot and ankle. Check out the warning signs that may mean you need to see our podiatrist in Wilmslow Harris & Ross’s clinic.

1.Forefoot pain:

Forefoot pain, otherwise called metatarsalgia can come in many forms. Hard skin is a common source of superficial burning pain.

A similarly burning type pain can be attributed to the toe joints themselves, often in the form of capsulitis, or an inflammation of the joint capsules.

This is often secondary to increased forces under the lateral four metatarsal heads or lesser toe joints. Often this goes hand in hand with pathology of the great toe. Common forms include hallux abducto valgus (bunion of the great toe), or hallux limitus (reduced range of motion In the great toe). Both conditions result in offloading of pressure in gait to the lesser toes, which are anatomically less able to deal with the heightened loading.

The latter of these conditions often occurs functionally (functional hallux limitus) before it causes any structural damage, so it is important to pick it up at this point.

Another common forefoot disorder may be experienced as a sharp pain, sometimes with tingling present in the toes. Digital neuritis, is most commonly seen between the 3rd and 4th metatarsals and is otherwise known as Morton’s neuroma.

Other common conditions include sesamoiditis, plantar plate tear, metatarsal stress fractures and other types of trauma.

2. Rearfoot and ankle pain:

These areas cover a plethora of disorders with the ankle joint (including the sub-talar and talo-crural joints) often being the origin of many lower limb disorders.

Common disorders that are seen include plantar (bottom of the foot) heel pain, which is an umbrella term encompassing disorders such as plantar fasciitis or fasciopathy, calcaneal spur or fat pad disruption. It’s important to clinically differentiate between these different diagnoses.

Shin pain often referred to as shin splints is otherwise known as medial tibial stress syndrome as it refers to the stress reaction that the tibia has to heightened impact. This can commonly be misdiagnosed or occur along with the dysfunction of the neighbouring muscle (tibialis posterior), so it’s always important to get it checked out.

Other complaints include chronic lateral ankle spraining, dorsal (top of the foot) pain – which is commonly seen in runners, achilles tendinitis or tendinopathy which can be commonly seen in children along with Severs disease.

Many more exist and many more disorders originate mechanically from the foot and ankle, for example if you’ve had an operation on a sprained ankle and that’s affecting how the ankle works, that may well explain your hip pain!

3.Knee pain

Foot function can be an important determinant of how the knee joint works and subsequently how hard muscles and ligaments have to work to stabilise the joint, considering it’s a badly designed joint to start with!

Common disorders of the knee range from the acute to the very chronic. Patellofemoral pain syndrome relates to the tracking of the kneecap and can come and go in an instant. This can often co-exist or be misdiagnosed with chrondromalacia patallae, fat pad impingement, iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) and Osgood schlatters in the young.

Arthritis of knee is very common and degenerative if the underlying mechanics of the disease are not managed properly – changing the foot function with orthotics and other interventions is a proven conservative way to influence the knee joint.

4.Hip pain

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) originates from the Tensor fascia lat (TFL) a muscle which becomes tendinous at the side of the hip. Other common disorders related to a persons’ biomechanics can include adductor tendinopathy felt as groin pain.

Intoeing exists where there is a large amount of internal rotation in the hip joint, often seen in children but resolves through adolescence, in the event that it doesn’t intoeing can cause greater impact on the ball and socket joint of the hip. Breakdown of the joint can then be a precursor to arthritis.

Similarly to the lower back, a leg length difference can also lead to heightened loading of one leg or the other (usually the longer), and subsequently asymmetry in the forces going through each joint.

5.Back pain, Neck. & Shoulder pain

Although back pain is often caused by poor occupational habits with other risk factors like obesity for example, the upper limb can be markedly influenced by the lower.

One common causative factor in the development of lower back pain can be a difference in leg length. Compensations can manifest themselves all the way up to the head in the form of tension headaches and down to the foot in the form of compensatory foot pronation or collapse.

Scoliosis of the back is a common secondary disorder,  commonly coexisting with a pelvic twist and shoulder tilt.

If you come to Harris & Ross we will always look for the source of the injury rather than treat the symptom, so if any of these issues are affecting you speak to our team to arrange a free 15 minute consultation by calling us on 0161 832 9000 or book online by clicking the button below.

Interested in other Harris & Ross services? We are the leading practice in the North West offering physiotherapy, podiatry, sports massage, clinical pilates, hydrotherapy and more. Read about our range of services here.