Gait and Ankle Pain

Stability in the ankle joint is of paramount importance to have normal gait. An unstable ankle joint can cause ankle pain and poor gait that can cause misalignment in the joints of the entire body.

Podiapro specializes in custom orthotic insoles to achieve a neutral sub-talar joint. This provides support and stability to the ankle join and arrests excessive pronation or supination of the foot.

Foot gait pattern

Foot gait pattern is the pattern in which your foot behaves as you walk. If your gait pattern is normal, the foot will roll slightly outwards (at what is called as the subtalar joint) when your heel strikes the ground and then as your body weight shifts from your heel to your mid-foot, your foot will roll slightly inwards to handle the shock that is generated on impact. These outward and inward movements are called supination and pronation of the foot respectively. 

When they roll to an extent of 4 degrees, the supination or pronation is considered normal. If they roll by more than 4 degrees, it is considered excessive or over supination or over pronation depending on which side it rolls (lateral or medial). 

Over pronation and over supination are abnormal foot gait patterns that can cause pain in your feet, ankles, knees and lower back. It is important to get custom insoles to support your feet and control these abnormal movements (biomechanics).

Ankle pain

Ankle pain can be caused due to a variety of factors, many of which can be helped with custom insoles. Some of the conditions that can cause ankle pain are as under:

  • Ankle sprain – a tear or stretch in the ligaments that hold the ankle bones together
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – Pain, swelling and stiffness begins with the toes and move slowly towards the ankle
  • Osteoarthritis – The bone cartilage wears off, causing the bones to rub directly against each other causing pain
  • Over pronation – An abnormal gait pattern where the foot rolls excessively inwards at the subtalar joint
  • Over supination – An abnormal gait pattern where the foot rolls excessively outwards at the subtalar joint
  • Flat feet – A condition where the medial arch of the foot is absent or has collapsed causing increased stress to the ankle
  • Ankle fracture – A crack or a break in one or more bones that make the ankle joint (the tibia, fibula and talus)
  • Achilles tendonitis – Tiny tears in the Achilles tendon causing the back of your ankle to feel tender and warm
  • Lateral ankle pain – Usually called by an injured ligament that hasn’t healed making the joint unstable and painful
  • Bursitis – Stiffness or swelling in the ankle due to inflammation in the either of the 2 bursae (liquid filled sacs)

At Podiapro, all of the above conditions can be helped in varying degrees with custom insoles and footwear. Insoles support the ankles externally and give them stability. The ankle should also be intrinsically strengthened with exercises as recommended by a physiotherapist.