Pain around the ankle joint with selling reduced movement and later bruising.
The ankle is made up of three bone surfaces: tibia, fibula of the leg and the talus of the ankle. They are bound together for stability by the ankle ligaments which are tough fibrous structures. When the ankle ligaments are overstretched during a sprain bleeding, swelling and inflammation occurs.
Pain over the back of the lower leg.
There are two calf muscles: the gastrocnemius and the soleus. They are attached at the heel by the Achilles tendon. A calf strain is a tear in the muscle whilst the muscle rapidly contracts when pushing off from a standing start perhaps during running, tennis and football.
The muscles are treated using hands on physical therapy, ultrasound and accompanied by a graded exercise programme to restore strength, pliability and stability.
Pain in the lower calf.
The Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscles to the back of the heel. Excessive stresses to the tendon can result in inflammation, scarring and over time, degeneration. The most common cause of this is overuse, such as running long distances which causes repetitive strain on the Achilles tendon. Alignment of the foot is also important and an individual with ‘flat feet’ is more likely to suffer Achilles tendonitis.
Metatarsalgia [Pain under ball of the foot]
This is commonly caused by alteration in the shape of the foot, perhaps high arches or flat feet causing an increased strain on the joints of the foot such as the metatarsals or the plantar fascia.
Pain on the sole of the foot. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue which runs from the heel to the under surface of the middle toes of the foot and supports the arch of the foot acting as a shock absorber for the arch. Inflammation of the plantar fascia is known as plantar fasciitis. Sometimes a spur of bone forms on the heel where the plantar fascia attaches.
The cause of plantar fasciitis is due to excessive running, but it can be due to a very sedentary lifestyle with flattening of the arch of the foot and in people who are overweight. A tight Achilles tendon and calf muscles contribute to the problem.