Foot & Lower Leg PainTreatment in Tustin

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Foot and lower leg pain vary in severity and in type and often depend on the lifestyle and medical problems of the person experiencing the pain. Leg pain, in addition to underlying conditions of the leg and foot, may be due to a condition in the lower back, pelvis, or hip areas. Studies show that 50 percent of athletes are injured annually, and foot pain is a common culprit. While some foot and lower leg pain is simply an ache you can push through, some is more serious.

Foot and Lower Leg Pain Therapy

Your Body, Your Way

Together, we will create a personalized treatment plan catered to YOUR body, YOUR pain points and YOUR speed. What is right for one won’t be right for another. We specialize in the following methods to create a customized treatment plan.

Chiropractic care is a great way to relieve swelling and manage pain caused by lower leg and foot pain. Chiropractic treatments are safe, non-addictive, and non-invasive and reduce misalignments and joint restrictions in the spine and other areas of the body to improve function and reduce inflammation of the affected area and the nervous system. By improving the nervous system and increasing joint mobility, your body can better manage symptoms and pain caused by lower leg and foot pain.

Many people struggle with pain in their lower legs. This can be due to the foot, calf, ankle, shin, or other areas below the knees. The good news is that massage therapy can relieve and manage the pain and get you back up and moving pain free sooner than you might have otherwise anticipated. The right types of massage can loosen and stretch muscles, ligaments, and tendons to restore balance and reduce pain.

Regenerative medicine is a relatively new branch of medicine that uses molecular biology to replace, engineer, and regenerate human cells. There are a variety of types of this medicine that can help with lower leg and foot pain. PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) therapy is one of these treatments. These treatments use platelets from the patient’s own blood to promote natural tissue healing and has had remarkable results. Cellular therapy has also been gaining in popularity. This treatment helps accelerate the healing process by regenerating tendon, cartilage, and ligaments in injured areas using Mesenchymal stem cells.

Why do chiropractors look at your feet?

Chiropractors look at the entire structure of the body and the way it is balanced. The feet are the foundation of the body structure. The way your feet are balanced determines how your body will hold up to age and stress and can be a cause of current pain.

Can a chiropractor fix plantar fasciitis?

Chiropractic treatments are very effective for the condition and the pain caused by plantar fasciitis. A very precise technique is used to adjust the feet and ankles and spinal adjustments may also be used to aid healing of the condition.

Can foot problems cause issues in other parts of the body?

Foot dysfunction and pain caused by an injury or illness can force you to change the way you walk which can put significant stress on other parts of your body such as your legs, lower spine, and hips. This could result in malformations, misalignments, and malfunctions placing your entire body in jeopardy. Even without foot pain, dysfunction in your feet can result in your whole body trying to overcompensate leading to back pain and even headaches.

Will chiropractic of my lower legs and feet hurt?

Some people experience mild soreness after treatment because areas that are already irritated are treated. Most people describe this pain as similar to the pain felt after strenuous activity or a good workout. It usually only lasts a day or two.

How many times will I need treatment to see results?

Every individual and circumstance is unique, so there is no definitive answer. Treatment length will depend on the severity of the condition, how long you’ve had symptoms, and how proactive you are working to recover.

PLANTAR FASCIITIS

Your plantar fascia is located on the bottom of your feet and consists of a thick band of tissue that connects from the heel bone into your toes. When you’re active, this fascia plays the vital role of a hard-working support system in your foot. The band essentially acts as a bow to help absorb shock and provide support to both of your feet throughout dynamic movement. Pretty awesome, right? When this fascia gets overused or inflamed, it can turn into one of the most common causes of heel pain. Because of its supportive role through movement, plantar fasciitis is incredibly common amongst runners, although other physically active adults may also develop plantar fasciitis, with risks increasing for those over 40.

The typical symptoms and signs of plantar fasciitis include pain at the bottom of the heel, which may be sharp, dull, or a burning ache. The pain may be toward the back or front of the heel. It usually builds up gradually over time, typically a few weeks. It is often worse when waking up in the morning.

When the band of fascia becomes overworked and has excessive tension and stress placed upon it repeatedly, small tears can start to form. These tears are the irritation that leads to plantar fasciitis and the feeling of stabbing heel pain. Though the pain usually subsides a bit with some “warming up” of the foot, it generally returns post-activity, after prolonged periods of sitting, and first thing in the morning.

Runners and athletes are not the only populations who are affected by plantar fasciitis though. Some people who are genetically a bit more “flat-footed” as well as those who have a higher arch than normal have experienced this same stabbing heel pain. This is a result of foot mechanics needing to work a bit harder to distribute weight evenly.

Plantar fasciitis can also develop in those engaging in repeated jumping routines through dance or exercise, have jobs that keep them on their feet throughout the day, or those who struggle with obesity.

If you’re managing plantar fasciitis pain, the good news is that most cases are completely treatable through conservative care over the course of a couple of months. One of the first steps is to try resting the affected foot or feet a bit more than usual. Light stretching of the plantar fascia can also be beneficial, though you should be careful of excessive stretching of the area, as this can contribute to more tearing along the fascia.

Chiropractic treatment is another non-invasive method to use while addressing plantar fasciitis pain. Because of the inflammatory nature of plantar fasciitis, chiropractic adjustments of the spine can help the body realign to minimize inflammation while you’re healing. Additional adjustments of the extremities, including the feet, can also help decrease inflammation and keep your healing timeline on track. Your chiropractor can also help prescribe the best at-home exercises to quicken your recovery time outside of the office.

Who is at risk for plantar fasciitis?

People with high or low arches are most vulnerable to plantar fasciitis as well as those who have feet that roll inward when walking. Anyone that spends long hours on their feet may also experience the condition, especially if the shoes they are wearing don’t provide adequate support. Age and obesity are also risk factors.

How will my chiropractor find the cause of plantar fasciitis?

Your chiropractor will look for musculoskeletal imbalances that may be contributing to the condition. An examination of the feet themselves will also reveal any arch, stance, or gait abnormalities that may need to be corrected.

What treatment methods may be used to treat my plantar fasciitis?

In addition to gentle adjustments, your chiropractor may recommend strengthening and stretching exercises, orthotic footwear, adjustments in lifestyle, or massage to make your feet happier and healthier.

SHIN SPLINTS

Shin splints are an overuse injury characterized by inflammation and microtears of the posterior tibialis muscle, or stabilizing muscle of the lower leg, as well as inflammation of the tissues surrounding the shin bone. They usually present as an aching, throbbing pain or soreness in the inside or front of the lower leg between the knee and ankle. The pain may last all day but is typically sharpest right after exercise or when the foot strikes the ground.

Shin splints are typically the result of an increase in training intensity or volume, but they may also occur due to poor foot mechanics including over pronation that puts stress and tension on the muscles and tendons that support the arch. Frequent running on hard surfaces or wearing unsupportive, worn-out shoes can also aggravate the condition.

One of the critical components of treatment for shin splints is rest. Many also experience relief by ice massaging along the shin bone for 10-15 minutes at a time. Wearing shoes or orthotic inserts with better arch support can also help, as well as keeping the calves stretched and taking an over the counter pain reliever.

Gentle, chiropractic adjustments of the extremities can help to alleviate pressure through joints and allow your body to function better. This is imperative while you are in the healing process! Plus, your chiropractor can help you figure out the best at-home exercises to help keep your healing on track outside of the office.

Are shin splints always on the front of the leg?

Although true shin splints will always occur on the inside of the lower leg, another form of shin splints may make the big muscle on the outside of your lower leg hurt.

How are shin splints diagnosed?

Your doctor will be able to take a medical history and conduct a physical exam to determine if you have shin splints. The condition is sometimes confused with stress fractures that are more serious but also cause lower leg pain. An x-ray may be used to confirm if your pain is the result of a stress fracture.

Can shin splints lead to other medical issues?

People often mistakenly believe that shin splints can lead to stress fractures, but this isn’t true. Instead, people tend to confuse the two conditions because they share a lot of similar symptoms.

Shin splints are a repetitive stress injury occurring from the overuse and abuse of the connective tissue between your muscles and the shin bone. If shin splints are pushed through for too long without rest and treatment, the repetitive stress that it puts on the shin bone can actually produce a fracture. They are extremely common amongst runners, although runners are not the only population plagued by this pain. Shin splints can also occur in other exercise programs where the intensity and frequency are drastically increased, as well as those with flat feet or high arches.

ACHILLES TENDONITIS

The Achilles tendon connects the heel bone to the calf muscle. When the calf contracts, it pulls the heel up allowing us to push off our toes when we walk, run, or do other activities. Over time, with extended use, this can lead to micro tears, inflammation, and tendonitis. The inflammation is often located at the insertion point where the Achilles tendon connects to the heel bone, higher up where it attaches to the calf muscle, or in the middle of the tendon.

Tendonitis of the Achilles tendon usually presents itself as a pain or dull ache between the start of the calf muscle and the heel bone or behind the ankle. The area may also become red and swollen. The pain may be mild at first but will typically worsen with continued use. Activities like climbing stairs, jumping, standing, and running may make the pain worse. Pointing the toes may also be painful.

Achilles tendonitis is typically caused by overuse, a change in running stride, exercising on a hill, tight calf muscles, unsupportive shoes, or weakness in the hips and core.

The first course of treatment is often rest and ice. It is also important to start treatment as soon as you notice symptoms in order to avoid advanced issues such as tendinosis or ruptured tendon. Your chiropractor is a great place to seek treatment. Chiropractic treatment may include correction of misaligned parts of the body that may be putting stress on your Achilles as well as physical therapy to improve soft tissue function.

How is heel pain connected to the Achilles tendon?

The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel and allows the body to transfer power from the calf muscle to the feet. The Achilles tendon is a strong, durable tendon, but it can be strained and overworked resulting in inflammation where it connects to the heel which causes heel pain.

How is Achilles tendonitis diagnosed?

Your doctor will take a thorough medical history and examine your feet as well as your spine, posture, movement, flexibility, and strength. Imaging techniques such x-rays and MRI’s are typically not needed to diagnose the condition.

Are Achilles tendonitis and Achilles tendinopathy the same?

These are two different conditions that people commonly use the terms interchangeably. Tendonitis stems from inflammation due to activity while tendinopathy is a degenerative condition that can affect anyone and is not related to inflammation. Experts believe tendinopathy occurs over time and is due to a pre-existing injury.

RUNNING SPRAIN

Symptoms of a running sprain may include pain when bearing weight on the affected joint, tenderness when touching the ankle, swelling, bruising, restricted range of motion, instability of the ankle joint, and a popping sound or sensation when the injury occurs.

A running sprain occurs when the ankle is forced to move outside of its normal position which results in ligaments stretching and partially tearing or tearing completely. This can occur when landing awkwardly on the foot, running on an uneven surface, or having another person step on your foot when running.

Fortunately, most sprains recover with time and rest. Your chiropractor can help expedite the healing process and reduce pain while you recover. Chiropractic care will focus on gentle adjustments of the ankle and other structures of the body that could be contributing to your pain. They will also work on improving range of motion and mobility to get you back to your normal activities.

Can you do more damage walking on a sprained ankle?

The short answer is yes. Ignoring treatment, including excess movement of the joint and failure to rest it leads to greater risk of worsening the injury.

How long will it take to recover from a running sprain?

The length of recovery varies from person to person as well as the severity of the injury. Most running sprains will recover within two to six weeks. Severe sprains may take longer.

Can I prevent future running sprains by wearing a brace?

The risk for re-injury is much higher in the 12 months after a running sprain. Additional training and support may be needed during activities to aid in a full recovery. Braces should be worn during all high-risk activities, including running.

A running sprain is an injury involving the tearing or stretching of ligaments. With the ankle, the interior or exterior of the joint can be sprained when running. A running sprain is classified in grades with Grade 1 being the least severe and Grade 3 being the most severe. Pain can range from mild with minimal swelling and stiffness of the joint to severe pain with significant swelling and limited joint movement.

POSTERIOR TIBIAL TENDON DYSFUNCTION

This condition is a common foot and ankle problem that occurs when there is inflammation and tearing in the posterior tibial tendon. This is the tendon that is at the back of the ankle and plays a key role in stabilizing the foot. The tear or inflammation during this condition affects the ability of the tendon to provide stability and support for the arch of the foot. This results in posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, commonly known as flat foot.

Pain is the most common symptom of flat foot and is typically located along the inner portion of the foot and ankle. Swelling may also be present in this area. The pain often increases with activity, particularly with high intensity or impact. The pain can get to where walking or standing for extended periods are excruciating. In advanced stages, the pain may shift to the outer part of the ankle.

The most common cause of this condition is injury and overuse. Falls are often the culprit, as is overtraining and high impact sports. The condition occurs more often in women than in men and people over the age of 40 also seem to be more prone to it, although it can occur in younger populations as well. Other risk factors include obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.

In most instances, the patient will be advised to rest and ice the affected joint and anti-inflammatory medications may be recommended. If the pain is more severe, a walking boot may be worn for 6 to 8 weeks to immobilize the area and allow the tendon time to heal. Shoe inserts, called orthotics, as well as braces may also be recommended.

Chiropractic care has also seen a great deal of success in treating flat foot. The chiropractor will use gentle adjustments, stretching, and other techniques to bring the ankle, foot, and leg back into alignment to counteract the weakened tendon and help healing improve.

How long does posterior tibial tendon dysfunction take to heal?

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction typically takes six to eight weeks to heal and trying to restart activity too soon can result in a setback in recovery. Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is a progressive condition and non-compliance with rest and treatment can double the recovery time.

How is PTTD diagnosed?

The single limb heel raise is a sensitive test for posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. To perform the test, use your arms to balance yourself against the wall, then lift the opposite foot off the ground and attempt to rise onto the toes of the affected foot.

What happens if the condition is left untreated?

If posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is left untreated, it can result in irreversible damage such as degenerative arthritis, flat foot, and mobility issues. Advanced cases that don’t respond to conservative measures may need surgery to correct.

ANKLE SPRAINS & STRAINS

Symptoms of the two conditions are very similar because the injuries are very similar. Symptoms of a sprain include pain around the joint, bruising, swelling, and limited flexibility and range of motion. Strain symptoms include pain around the affected joint, muscle spasm, swelling, and limited mobility and flexibility.

Twisting the wrong way or falling can force the ankle joint into an awkward position that stretches or tears ligaments and often results in a sprain. Strains are more often the result of overexertion, repetitive movement, or trauma. Accidents, athletic activities, prolonged repetitive motion, standing in an awkward position, or overexerting the joint can all result in a sprain or strain.

Strains and sprains are often treated with rest, ice, and compression. Anti-inflammatory medications may also be recommended by your doctor. Chiropractic treatments may also be used to aid in healing of sprains and strains. In addition to joint manipulation, your chiropractor may use ultrasound, trigger point therapy, stretching and strengthening exercises, and other methods to treat soft tissue damage. Studies have shown that joint manipulation is more effective than anti-inflammatory medication at improving joint range of motion and just as effective at improving pain and flexibility.

How long do ankle strains and sprains take to heal?

A mild strain or sprain will typically heal in one to three weeks with proper treatment. Moderate injuries may take three to four weeks, and severe injuries can take up to six months to heal entirely.

How can ankle strains and sprains be prevented?

Stretching before activities and improving skills will help reduce injury risk. This will also help build strength in the joint which will improve performance and range of motion and decrease the risk of injury. Proper technique for exercises will also help prevent injuries.

Can I return to activities before treatment is completed if I’m not in pain?

It is not recommended to return to activity prior to completing treatment. You should gradually increase activity because the chance for reinjury is increased if recovery isn’t complete. Reinjury to the ankle may limit healing so the joint may not return to its pre-injury state.

You’ve probably likely heard the terms ankle strain and ankle sprain but may not know the difference. If that’s the case, you’re not alone. The two terms are often used interchangeably to describe a tearing or overstretching of soft tissues around and in the ankle joint. A joint sprain is when the ligaments, or bands of tissue that connect two bones together in a joint, are injured. A strain is the overstretching or tearing of muscles or tendons. Tendons connect bones to muscles.

How To Fix Lower Leg & Foot Pain In Tustin

Because the symptoms of lower leg and foot pain can also mimic other injuries it’s especially important to get a correct diagnosis from a professional, like a chiropractor, to ensure you’re getting the right treatment.

In addition to chiropractic adjustments, your practitioner can also provide guidance on proper rehabilitation exercises to perform at home. These personalized exercises will help you continue to address the root of your problem outside of a practitioner’s office and help to speed your recovery process.

During your new patient evaluation, we will determine 3 things:
What is the
underlying issue?
Is that a problem
we can help?
What will it take
to get you better?

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