There are a number of conditions and injuries that can cause foot and ankle pain. In most cases, these issues are minor and can be easily treated – often with rest and physical therapy.
Some of the most common causes of foot and ankle pain are plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and sprains:
- Plantar fasciitis develops when the plantar fascia tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot becomes inflamed. This can lead to sharp heel pain, particularly first thing in the morning or after you’ve been on your feet for a while.
- Achilles tendonitis develops when the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone, becomes inflamed. This issue is most often the result of overuse and lack of resting the area, such as not taking enough breaks.
- Sprains occur when a ligament – which is the strong tissue connecting two bones in a joint – is overstretched, partially torn, or fully torn. The most common type of sprain is a sprained ankle. An ankle sprain happens when the foot twists suddenly and forcefully, leading to a ligament injury in the ankle.
Let’s talk about some of the easiest and simplest ways to alleviate pain in your feet and ankles, and where you can go in West Jersey for outstanding orthopedic care.
Stretches to Relieve Foot Pain and Ankle Pain
If you are experiencing mild or moderate foot or ankle pain, you can perform the following exercises at home to get relief:
- Plantar Fascia and Achilles Tendon Stretch – Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you, loop a towel around the ball (center) of one foot, grasp the towel with both hands, and gently pull it toward your torso to stretch the foot. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other foot.
- Calf Stretch – Stand on a step, such as at the bottom of the stairs, with the heel of one foot hanging off the edge. Hold onto the railing of the stairwell for support. Let gravity drop the heel as low as possible without causing pain (and without you falling over). You should feel a stretch in the back of your lower leg and the Achilles tendon. Hold the stretch for about 20 seconds. Repeat with the other foot.
- Toe Bends – Sit on a chair, put the heels of both feet on the ground, and lift the fronts of the feet and toes in the air. While maintaining this position, bend the toes downward and hold for a few seconds. Rest and repeat several times.
When to See an Orthopedic Doctor
While it is easy to ignore foot or ankle pain, you should recognize the signs of when to see a doctor. In most cases, you should seek medical care if your foot pain or ankle pain is the direct result of an injury, or if your symptoms are getting progressively worse.
You should also seek medical help if at-home remedies, such as rest and gentle exercise, do not bring relief after a week or so. Neglecting getting medical care can prolong the foot pain and can lead to permanent injury.
Foot and Ankle Pain Treatment in Dover, New Jersey
If you are experiencing persistent foot pain or ankle pain that home remedies are simply not improving, you should see a skilled orthopedist for an evaluation and treatment to finally achieve lasting relief. You may have an underlying injury or condition that warrants immediate treatment.
If you are in the West Jersey area, Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey is here for you. We provide comprehensive treatment for foot and ankle pain, as well as all other orthopedic conditions and sports medicine.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our outstanding orthopedic doctors, call us today at (973) 989-0888 or request an appointment now. We look forward to helping you get back to your active lifestyle!