Don't let ankle pain be your achilles heel
Ankles are complex!
There’s three different conditions that can affect your achilles tendon.
An ankle sprain can impact joints, tendons and nerves, not just ligaments.
Pain in your ankle can actually not be from your ankle at all, and instead be from muscles and tendons that actually start in your foot and leg.
So it’s no surprise googling your symptoms doesn’t help!
Get a thorough assessment and understanding of your problem
With all the complexity of the ankle, you need to have a thorough assessment to figure out what is happening.
That’s why I have long consults as standard. We’ll have the time to talk about how and when your pain started, do a thorough assessment and answer all your questions.
Let's make a plan to take back control
No cookie-cutter programs or pre-made treatment sheets.
Together we’ll figure out a plan that will work best for you, getting you back on your feet and back to activity
I can help you with all ankle conditions
Already have a diagnosis and want to know if I can help?
I treat all causes of ankle pain. Common conditions include:
- Achilles tendon pain
- Acute and recurrent ankle sprains
- Ankle joint pain
- Ankle joint impingement
- Nerve impingement
- Ligament injury
- Stress fractures
- Post-operative pain and disability
- Haglunds deformity
- Heel pain
Experienced and trusted
With over 10 years experience working with children and adults, through to international athletes, your feet are in good hands.
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Insurance and Third Party Payers
I accept insurance and third party payments from most organisations, including:
- Private Health Funds with on the spot claiming
- Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) Plans
- Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA)
- Workplace injury insurers
- Limited to self-managed and plan-managed participants
If you have a third party who’ll be paying for your appointments, please contact me prior to booking your appointment to organise the paperwork and provide a quote (if required).
First thing is you’ll be welcomed into the space and we’ll sit and have a discussion about your ankle pain. Find out things such as when it started, where it is, what it feels like and what it is impacting you from doing.
If you’ve already got some images of your foot and ankle, I’ll go through the reports and images. I’ll also look at the shoes you typically wear to determine if they’re contributing, or whether there are better shoes to wear for your problem in the short/long term.
With a thorough understanding of what is happening, I will then physically examine your ankle, locate where your pain is occurring and do a range of tests to see how your foot, ankle and leg move.
We’ll then move out to the gym space, watch you walk and do a range of movements and exercises targeted to your level of ability to see how you move during different tasks, what pain limits you from doing and start to get an idea of how I can help keep you moving more, not less!
We’ll then pop back into the room and talk about everything I’ve found. I’ll explain what I’m seeing, why I think your pain is occurring, answer all your questions and talk through your options.
Together we’ll figure out a plan that works best for you and then start treatment right away.
If it’s required, I can also refer you for imaging, such as an x-ray, ultrasound or MRI.
This is a really common question because we’re often taught to think that pain starts after an injury, like twisting or spraining your ankle.
The interesting thing is that’s not the only way you can get pain and sometimes not even the most common.
There’s lot of conditions of the ankle that occur from overuse. I.e. you’re doing an activity that your body is not coping with. This is often suddenly starting a new sport or activity and doing too much without giving your body an opportunity to recovery.
Generally this start as a small amount of pain, can come and go and then steadily over time it gets worse. Often it takes 4-6 weeks after you’ve started doing something new or different before the pain starts, leaving many people confused as they didn’t do anything different when the pain starts. After training for 5 weeks, it doesn’t occur that they returned to running or the gym too quickly.
Common conditions that occur like this are tendon pain, especially the achilles tendon, joint pain and stress fractures.
Sometimes I see people who experience pain without an injury and have done nothing different to bring on an overuse injury. In these cases we work to figure out why the body is suddenly not coping and figure out how we can stop this from occurring again in the future.
I can provide a full range of non-invasive treatments for ankle pain.
- Exercise rehabilitation
- Foot orthoses
- Footwear prescription and advice
- In shoe devices, such as heel lifts
- Referral for injection therapies (cortisone/PRP)
- Gait (running/walking) retraining
- Immobilisation boots
- Strength and conditioning of the whole lower limb
This is a tricky question to answer because it very much depends on the condition you’re suffering. There’s many of them that can be seriously painful, but not medically serious, so pain isn’t always the best guide.
I also can’t provide medical advice without doing a proper assessment. However, there’s some things that would raise my suspicion that the condition is more serious and needs to be seen by a professional. A non-exhaustive list of these are (and not to be seen as medical advice):
Trauma. A sprain, fell into a pothole, slipped on a curb, fell off your bike, got hit by something. These are all times it’s worthwhile getting an assessment as soon as you can. Too many times people are waiting to see if it’ll go away by itself and not getting better because there’s something serious. But also not getting early treatment and rehabilitation for traumatic injuries can be the number one reason they take a lot longer to get better than average.
Can’t bear weight on your foot and ankle. If this is occurring, especially after a trauma, it significantly increases my suspicion of a fracture. Get an assessment ASAP.
Limping. You can put weight on your foot and ankle, but it’s causing you to limp. It could be that you’re doing too much and will settle down with some rest, or it could be something more serious is occurring. Always best to get an assessment.
You felt a ‘pop’. Our body can make a lot of sounds. Most of them are normal and by themselves not a cause of concern. However a ‘pop’ sound is almost always indicative of something wrong and worth investigating as soon as you can.
Night pain. It’s common to get pain at the end of the day as you’ve been on your feet all day. However, if you’re getting pain specifically at night in bed, or it’s getting worse when going to bed, then this is a sign you need to get an assessment.
Swelling. Lots of people get generalised swelling in their ankles and legs, especially as they get older. While common and not often serious, it could be the sign of a more serious condition like heart failure and absolutely worth seeing your doctor. If you’ve got swelling and pain, this is indicating you’re getting a larger healing response and worth getting an assessment.
Pain is not getting better, or worse over time. There’s lots of times out there you get pain for a week or so and then it goes away by itself. It’s not feasible to see someone every time something comes up. But unfortunately, I can’t give you any good, medically sound advice as too when not to see someone. However, if you’re experiencing pain and it’s not getting better, or slowly getting worse over time, it’s worth seeing someone. While it might not be serious or not always become something serious, ignoring a condition can make it take a lot longer for it to go away and impact your life and physical activity more.
Pain keeps coming back. Similar to the above response about pain is getting worse over time. While not indicative of the condition being medically serious, if it keeps coming back, the longer it is left untreated, the higher chance something more serious could occur, or the longer it will take to resolve. It’s worth seeing someone about it.
You’ve got pain and you’re concerned. Put those fears to rest. Get an assessment, figure out what is going on and what you can do about it.
My default response is always, if you’re asking these questions, it’s worth getting an assessment and your questions answered.
There isn’t one singular cause of ankle pain, but there are definitely more common conditions I’ll see. These are:
- Achilles tendon pain
- Ankle sprains
- Posterior-tibial and peroneal tendon pain (tendons behind your ankle bone)
- Ankle joint osteoarthritis
Just because these are the more common causes, that doesn’t mean it’s more likely this will be the cause of your ankle pain. These are just the more common conditions I’ll see in the clinic.
A nice simple one.
See a professional. Get an understanding of what is causing your ankle pain, what is stopping it from getting better. And formulate a plan designed specifically for you.
This is what I do for all my patients.
Located inside Sportscare Barton
7a/3 Sydney Avenue, Barton, ACT, Australia
Monday – Thursday: 8am-6pm