of Foot Pain
Stiffness is the second most common problem affecting the foot and ankle which can occur following a simple sprain or strain. Most commonly stiffness occurs after a fracture to the ankle or lower leg that enforced rest or immobilisation.
Pain/stiffness is one thing, but the most important thing is how that pain or other symptoms are affecting your day to day life, leisure activities and your overall function. So it is essential to ascertain what your main functional problems and difficulties are by asking about specific restrictions you have and how they are changing over time.
Painful insecurity or “locking up” as it is better known is a feeling of sudden pain which stops you in your tracks. This can be suggestive of a loose body within a joint or an irritation on the joint surface which isn’t always sore but can occasionally catch you out. Symptoms may occasionally be caused by a muscle or tendon injury also.
Painless instability or “giving way” is different from locking up. This is suggestive of probable strain or rupture of ligaments that support your joints. People describe just falling over without any warning such as pain.
Start up Pain is when you get most of your pain with your first few steps in the morning or if you get up after a period of rest and are “starting up” again. This is very common in plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinopathy.
Weakness may occur post operatively or following immobilisation after fracture, through tendon strain/rupture, nerve injury or compression. Therefore a full neurological assessment is often required for patients who present with any symptoms of weakness.