The Foot

Common Foot Problems

If you encounter repeated stress with a hard surface, poor footwear, and insufficient recovery time, you may eventually encounter some of the following pains:

Plantar Fascitis – pain at the heel (plantar fascitis) caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, or arch ligament. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and tenderness anywhere along the arch or under the heel, most often occurring in the morning when the first steps are taken. Causes include overuse, poor conditioning, or ill-fitting shoes.

Metatarsalgia – inflammation at the ball end of the metatarsals caused by increased mechanical pressure resulting from alteration in bone alignment.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome – neuropathy involving the tarsal tunnel of the foot – caused by ill-fitting shoes, chronic foot strain, bone spurs, repetitive stress, and over-pronation.

Achilles Tendinitis/Achillobursitis – pain along the Achilles tendon usually due to overuse, trauma, repetitive stress, sudden or excessive stretching of the tendon, or shock forces from running on hard surfaces.


Talocrural Joint (Ankle) – the joint where the two bones of the leg, the tibia and the fibula, join with the talus. Dorsiflexion (toes up) and plantarflexion (toes down) are the motions that occur here.

Subtalar Joint – located below the ankle, this joint is where the talus meets the calcaneus (heel bone). The side to side motions of pronation and supination are the motions that occur here, allowing for the foot to adapt to uneven ground.

Fat Pads – located on the heel and the ball of your foot, these fat pads cushion the initial impact with the ground and decrease the pressure when you push off.

Arch – formed by the alignment of the heel and metatarsals creating a tripod held ogether by ligaments. Alterations in the alignment of the bones can result in excessively low or high-arched feet, which are both associated with different syndromes of the foot.

Metatarsals – the long, thin bones that run to your toes.

Phalanges – the small bones that make up the toes – attached to the plantar fascia

Posterior and Anterior Tibialis – respectively, the muscle-tendon the originates in the calf and runs down the inside of the ankle and muscle that brings the foot upward at the ankle

Common Treatment Goals
  1. Decrease pain in sensitive area and prevent recurrence
  2. Promote soft tissue healing
  3. Increase pain-free range of motion
  4. Restore normal strength and stability to joint structure
Treatment Protocols
  1. Ice applied to painful area for 15 minutes every two hours
  2. Avoid aggravating activities
  3. Pulsed ultrasound over related muscle tissues
  4. High-volt galvanism or interferential to decrease pain