Overuse injuries differ from acute injuries as they develop slowly over a period of time. These injuries occur as a result of multiple episodes of repetitive strain or stress on a structure. This may be the result of your movement posture, a biomechanical abnormality, a training error or an alteration in a certain activity in your life.
If you consider that any tissue in the body, whether it be a muscle, tendon or bone, has a certain threshold of stress that it can cope with; if you alter or increase the amount of stress you are applying to this particular tissue repetitively, at a point it will become injured. Investigating how and why this issue has occurred for you is the most important part of a successful treatment and making sure that we minimise the chance of this issue occurring in the future. In most cases treatment will involve managing your pain levels, followed by the rehabilitation and prevention measures.
Acute injuries to the foot, ankle and lower limb
Acute injuries differ from overuse injuries as they occur suddenly as a single event or accident. The most common example of this in podiatry is an ankle sprain. An acute injury is covered by ACC and therefore treatment is partially funded. There is a great focus on the initial symptoms that resulted from this injury and trying to gain better control of these. Once this is achieved it is a matter of establishing what long term effects this injury may have on the function of your foot, ankle or lower limb. Depending on the severity of the injury this may require a lengthy rehabilitative process. For a minor injury it may require very little rehabilitation. If needed we can refer you for ultrasound and x-ray to determine the severity of your injury, and in many cases a referral to a physiotherapist may be beneficial. If this injury is affecting your ability to perform your duties at work we can also liaise with your GP to discuss some compensation through ACC.
Foot and ankle manipulations
Foot and ankle manipulations are a method of increasing the amount of movement within a joint. There are many manipulations that can be performed around joints of the foot and ankle. These joints may be naturally lacking movement or may have some early arthritic change. These manipulations are not painful to perform but usually greatly improve the feeling and function around a joint.
Sports and occupational footwear advice
Rehabilitation is a very important part of fully recovering from an injury. A lot of lower limb pain management is chronic and has taken some time to develop; it is usually multi-factorial. Once we have reduced your pain the next step is to address all of these factors so that you can fully understand why this issue has occurred. The rehabilitation will also include strengthening and improving range of motion to prevent these issues from reoccurring.
Foot and ankle strengthening
Whether you have had an acute or overuse injury, rehabilitation and the appropriate strengthening programme is an important part of ensuring that you fully recover from the injury and also to prevent any complications in the future. We may have identified an issue or weakness that led to your injury, or you may have developed this weakness as a result of the injury. Either way, once we have identified this issue we will prescribe the appropriate strengthening exercises to restore function to normality as much as possible.