The lower limb (or lower leg) includes the ankle and foot joints, which are frequently injured during sports that require running or jumping. Besides physiotherapy, there are other, complementary, ways to address the acute pain that results from an injury to any of these joints and return to your sport.
Sport podiatrists are health practitioners who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions of the foot and ankle. The field of sport podiatry involves utilizing methods that reduce the risk of lower limb injuries. It encompasses orthotic insoles, exercise, the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and proper footwear to restore correct foot biomechanics.
Several causes of foot/ankle pain include, but are not limited, to:
- Bio-mechanical abnormalities (i.e., foot alignment)
- Worn or ill-fitting footwear
- Increased training duration and/or frequency
- Increased training intensity
Try orthotics – these are shoe inserts that reduce biomechanical abnormalities while you are walking or running. Benefits of orthotics include pain reduction, increased support, biomechanical correction, accelerated healing (due to reduced pressure to the affected joint), and injury prevention.
You should also discuss modifying your training or exercise program with your podiatrist, physiotherapist, and/or physician in order to reduce stress on the injured area.