A-Z of Injuries - Westport Physiotherapy & Acupuncture Clinic

A-Z of Injuries

Ankle & Foot - Ankle Sprain

Ankle sprain is very commonly seen in physiotherapy. Typically it follows an injury when the ankle rolls inwards and the ligaments on the outside of the ankle are injured. The ligaments on the outside can be injured when the ankle rolls the other way, ie outwards.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Swelling with visible bruising on the outside (or inside) of the ankle
  • Pain on any weight bearing, walking on the ankle
  • Tenderness over the ligament
  • Stiffness, especially into rotation of the ankle

Occasionally there can be a fracture in the ankle as well as sprain of the ligaments. X-rays are needed to rule out fracture following injury

Physiotherapy will help in the initial stages by immobilising the ankle to ensure early rehabilitation. Treatment will consist of manual therapy, exercises and specific sports related rehabilitation to hasten return to optimal activity.[...]

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Ankle & Foot - Fractured Ankle

A fractured ankle is normally due to a fall where the ankle twists under the weight of the body. An x-ray will be required to decide the extent of the damage and whether surgery or casting is required.

Signs & symptoms:

  • Ankle trauma
  • Ankle swelling and deformity
  • Ankle pain and loss of movement.

Walking as soon as is advised by the orthopaedic consultant is essential to prevent further unwanted wasting of muscles. The aim of physiotherapy treatment is to restore normal joint movement, improve strength and prevent further degeneration.[...]

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Ankle & Foot - Metatarsal Fracture

Fracture of the metatarsal is common in sports, usually caused by direct trauma or excessive rotational forces and overuse, the most common of these being the fifth metatarsal fracture.

Signs & symptoms:

  • Severe foot pain
  • Swollen or bruised foot
  • Inability to walk on the foot

Treatment depends on the severity and location of the injury; if alignment is satisfactory immobilisation may be sufficient for 6-8weeks. Due to the poor healing capacity of the fifth metatarsal many consultants will decide to perform surgery.

 [...]

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Ankle & Foot - Plantar Fasciitis

Is a common injury that causes heel and sole of the foot pain. It is inflammation of the fibrous sheath that runs under the foot, the aim of the plantar fascia is to act as a lever to push off in toe off during walking or running. It is usually an overuse injury characterised by pain on first step in the morning.

Signs & symptoms:

  • Heel pain on first step in the morning
  • Pain in the sole of the foot

The aim of physiotherapy is to reduce the strain using relative rest and addressing the aggravating activities or faulty biomechanics.[...]

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Ankle & Foot - Ruptured Tarso-Metatarsal Ligament

This injury can also be known as a lisfranc injury and can be difficult to diagnose. The injury is as a result of trauma to the top of the foot.

Signs & symptoms:

  • Trauma to the top of the foot
  • Foot pain on separating the metatarsals
  • Foot pain on walking or running

Treatment will depend on the severity of the trauma and may require surgical intervention if there is widening of the metatarsals on x-ray.[...]

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Ankle & Foot - Tibialis Posterior Pain

Tibialis posterior pain is an injury common to runners. The tendon becomes inflamed, partially torn or ruptured, causing pain behind the bone on the inside of the ankle. A direct blow can cause the condition but can also occur gradually due to overuse in runners.

Signs & symptoms:

  • Pain on the inside of the ankle on movement
  • Especially on pointing the foot down and inwards
  • Pain on the arch of the foot when walking on uneven ground
  • Flattening foot arch

Treatment aims to strengthen the muscle and tendon to improve foot mechanics and reduce pain[...]

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Arm & Elbow - Golfers Elbow

Golfers elbow is pain located on the inside of the elbow joint. It is usually due to inflammation of the tendons at this location, from prolonged gripping activities.

Signs & symptoms:

  • Pain on gripping, turning door handles and shaking hands.
  • Stiffness and pain on the inside of the elbow and forearm.

 Physiotherapy treatments aim is to reduce inflammation and pain and restore strength and movement.[...]

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Arm & Elbow - Osteoarthritis of the Elbow

Is an uncommon form of elbow pain, but is usually due to a previous trauma to the elbow, past fracture.

Signs & symptoms:

  • Often a grating noise on movement
  • Restricted joint movement/locking
  • Pain

Physiotherapy treatments aim is to maintain forearm muscle strength to protect the joint, using exercise bands and hand therapy balls.

 [...]

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Arm & Elbow - Proximal Humeral Fracture

Humeral fractures usually occur in a two distinct group, elderly women and adolescents.

Once the orthopaedic consultant is satisfied that the fracture is stable, it is advisable to start a rehabilitation programme supervised by a physiotherapist.

Signs & symptoms:

  • Falls on an outstretched arm.
  • Common in older people with osteoporosis.
  • Unable to use the arm due to severe pain
[...]

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Arm & Elbow - Tennis Elbow

Lateral Epicondylitis

Tennis elbow is inflammation of the tendons on the outside of the elbow. It is usually associated with racquet sports hence the name, also playing musical instruments and typing.

Signs & symptoms:

  • Gradual or sudden pain and stiffness on the outside of the elbow.
  • Forearm and finger pain may also be associated
  • Symptoms may also be referred from the neck and shoulder, to the elbow.

 Physiotherapy aims to reduce pain and stiffness and assess the cause of the injury, i.e. rule out neck or shoulder involvement. Acupuncture can also be used to good effect.[...]

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Arthritis

This is a very commonly used term for general aches and pains, but a specific diagnosis can only be given following X rays or other imaging like MRI or CT scan or blood tests. There are many form of arthritis, osteo arthritis (OA) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) are the most common forms. OA usually affect the hips, knees, wrist and finger joints, whereas RA can be more general. OA is often referred to as wear and tear and is the less serious form. Joints suffering from OA can be swollen, painful and stiff as a result of the gradual wearing away of the cartilage or cushioning of the joint. In the case of the hip and knee, joint replacement is very successful and the outcomes are generally very good, especially in the case of the hip, knee and shoulder.

Physiotherapy will assist in maintaining muscle strength and flexibility around the affected joints as well as pain relief.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) can affect many joints and is more inflammatory in nature, Treatment has progressed well in recent times and medication as well as gentle physiotherapy can help manage the condition[...]

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Back - Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is an inflammatory condition of the lower back usually associated with stiffness and pain coming from the lower back region and hips. It commonly arises in people under 40. It is usually diagnosed by a blood test and X Rays or MRI. The exact cause is not known but there may be a hereditary factor. AS can also affect other organs of the body. Physiotherapy can help with increasing movement and reducing pain.

 [...]

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Back - Facet Syndrome

The onset of this type of back pain is usually a sudden movement which causes trauma to the joint. Commonly the pain associated with facet joint syndrome is chronic in nature due to the underlying long term changes in the joint can be associated with degenerative disc disease.

Signs & symptoms:

  • Pain to one side of the spine
  • Worse on side bending to the affected side
  • Worse on extending backward
  • Stiffness in the morning
  • Chronic may have constant back ache

Physiotherapy aims to correct any postural alignment issues, increase range of motion and reduce pain on movement.[...]

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Back - Herniated Disc

The most common area for this to occur in the spine is the lumbar or lower back region. Can be caused by repeated bending, lifting due to sports or work. The pressure causes the outer layer of the disc to weaken and allows the centre gel-like nucleus to prolapse. This bulge can cause increased pain in the back and also down the back of the leg (sciatica).

Signs & symptoms:

  • Increased pain on sitting and bending
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Back muscle spasm
  • Sciatic pain.
  • Weakness or altered sensation in the buttock, hamstring, calf and foot.

The acute phase of this injury can last from a few days up to 10 days. the aim of physiotherapy is to educate the individual on gentle exercises to improve movement slowly, advice on movements to avoid in the short term and as pain resolves a rehabilitation programme to strengthen and restore normal activity levels.[...]

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Back - Sacro Iliac Joint Dysfunction

The sacroiliac joint is situated at the back of the pelvis. The main causes are a biomechanical mal-alignment, a traumatic event, and hormonal changes during pregnancy or inflammatory joint disease. It can refer to the buttock or thigh but rarely goes below the level of the knee.

Signs & symptoms:

  • Pain in the lower back and buttock
  • A blocked feeling in the lower back

 Physiotherapy aim is to treat the cause of the pain, therefore restoring normal joint mechanics by removing abnormal ligament stress in this area. The long term aim is to improve strength and stability in the area and aid normal movement patterns.[...]

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Back - Sciatica

Is a condition where pain, altered sensation and weakness can be experienced in the buttock, hamstring, calf and foot, via the sciatic nerve. The main cause is a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis.

Signs & symptoms:

  • Cramping sensation in the hamstring or calf
  • Shooting pain in the buttock, hamstring and down the foot
  • A history of back pain

 Research suggests that it is advisable to stay active, while avoiding sitting for prolonged periods and bending. Physiotherapy aims to provide education on the condition, reduce pain and gently restore movement. Acupuncture can be very helpful with this condition.[...]

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Back - Scolisis

Scoliosis is a curve of the spine that occurs mainly in the thoracic and lumbar region of the spine. There can be structural or postural in nature. Mild scoliosis/postural can be managed by exercises and postural and lifestyle advice. Severe scoliosis is thought to be hereditary and bony in nature and may require an orthopaedic review.

Physiotherapy aims to provide exercises to promote good alignment and increase length in tissue/muscle that are being compressed due to the curve. [...]

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Back - Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis means narrowing of the surround the nervous tissue in the lower back, the spinal cord and nerve roots that emerge from the spine. Because flexion gives relief from the symptoms individuals may walk with a slight stoop forward.

Signs & symptoms:

  • Low back pain
  • Sciatica, buttock pain, leg pain
  • Cramping leg pain and pain on standing and walking.

 [...]

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Back - Spondylolysis

Spondylolysis is a stress fracture of the lower back, it is an overuse injury associated with sport. It is caused by repeated arching and twisting of the back, which puts too much stress on the pars interarticularis of the vertebrae, causing a weak spot within the bone. It is considered a common cause of low back pain in adolescents.

Signs & symptoms:

  • Pain in lower back worse on sporting activities
  • Pain eased with rest
  • Low back pain on bending backwards.

 Treatment involves rest from sporting activities for 6 weeks followed by a rehabilitation programme provided by your physiotherapist to improve muscle function and lower back stability.[...]

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Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s palsy is the paralysis of muscles of the face which comes on quickly. This normally improves significantly within 10 days.

Signs & symptoms:

  • It can affect the eye and mouth especially
  • causing difficulties with closing the eye
  • Problems with eating.

Physiotherapy and acupuncture can be helpful in treating Bell’s palsy. Prompt treatment can help speed up recovery.[...]

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