The foot and ankle is a complex structure, consisting of 33 joints, 26 bones, and more than a hundred ligaments, muscles and tendons that all work together to allow for movement and weight-bearing. Any injury to any one of these structures, can significantly impact your ability to walk, run, jump and perform any day to day movements. At ECP Physiotherapy, we can help to accurately diagnose the injury and provide you with a specific management and rehabilitation plan to get you back on your feet in no time!

Shin Splints

Common Types of Ankle and Foot Injuries

  1. Ankle Sprain: There are 3 different areas that ankle sprains can commonly occur: the lateral ankle (the outside of the ankle – this is the most common type of sprain), the medial ankle (the inside of the ankle), and high ankle (at the Syndesmosis joint at the top of the ankle). These are often caused by sudden twisting or turning motions, placing stress on one or more of the ligaments. Each of these injuries has slightly different guidelines for rehabilitation, and different expected timeframes for return to sport, depending on the severity of the sprain and its location.
  2. Foot Sprain: Many sprains can often ‘feel’ like an ankle sprain but may be a sprain to the ligaments holding the bones of the foot together. It is important that this is correctly identified, as the recovery plan may be significantly different.


  1. Stress Fracture: A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone that is often caused by high-impact, repetitive activities such as running, jumping or dancing. This may be the result of increases in training load, poor biomechanics or footwear, inadequate periods of rest, or may be signs of other underlying issues such as osteoporosis, nutritional deficiencies or hormone imbalances. It is important that we identify the cause as well as treating the injury, to prevent future recurrence.
  2. Achilles Tendinopathy or Rupture: The Achilles tendon is the large tendon at the back of the leg that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. A rupture can be due to gradual degenerative changes over time or may be due to sudden, explosive movements such as running or jumping. A tendinopathy is due to weakening of the tendon, causing changes in the structure at a cellular level, often resulting in pain and weakness, affecting daily activities.
  3. Plantar Fasciitis: The Plantar Fascia is a thick band on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes. Inflammation and irritation of this band can cause pain during or after walking, standing or running.

How can Physiotherapy help with a foot or ankle injury?

  1. Assessment and diagnosis: It is important to correctly identify the source of pain and injury straight away so that we can give you the correct advice and management plan. Some injuries may require non-weightbearing and immobilising the joint for a period of time, whilst other injuries may be best off starting an exercise program straight away.
  2. Treatment: Treatment may consist of pain management, mobilisation, strength and balance exercises, activity modification, taping or bracing, mobility aids such as a moon boot or crutches, footwear recommendations, and return to activity or sport plans.

Treatment will progress from helping you in the early-stages to be pain free, and move easier, through to mid- and late-stage rehabilitation, which consists of rebuilding your strength and stability so that you can return to the activities you love.

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