Osteoarthritis and Ankle Pain

Case Study Written by Midori Adachi Elite Myotherapist

In May this year at the Balwyn clinic, had we a female client, whom we will call Louise, complaining of a very sore left ankle.  Louise is in her late 60’s and was diagnosed with osteoarthritis by her GP 3 years ago.   The ankle normally felt very stiff and sore when she woke up in the morning, and it eased off after moving around in daily life.  In mid-April, Louise’s ankle pain got much worse and she could not sleep without pain medication for 2 weeks.

Louise loves gardening and walking her dog but the discomfort in her ankle had been stopping her from her favourite activities.

On the assessment, it was found that the range of motion decreased to less than 30 % of a normal joint in the left ankle, and the calf muscles were very tender and tight on both sides. We also noticed that the left glute was not activating as well on a single leg stand as on the right. Underactive glute can easily cause stress to the knee or ankle.  Louise described the pain as 4/10 at the best time, and as 8/10 at the worst time in the pain scale (10/10 being the worst pain ever experienced and 1/10 being minimal pain).

During the treatments, we worked on the ankle joint and several muscles in calf and glutes to release the tension and to improve the mobility. The techniques applied were mainly deep tissue massage, myofascial release, trigger point release, kinesiology taping and joint mobilisation.

In addition, Louise performed some home-exercises prescribed by the therapist between the myotherapy sessions. It helped the ankle improve the circulation and the ability to move and function.

After 5 sessions in 4 weeks, Louise gained significant increase in ankle movement. Pain is now felt only in the morning and the level of pain dropped to 2/10 at worse. She does not have to use pain killer to sleep. Louise could gradually get back to enjoy gardening and walking her dog.

Louise now attends our clinic every 3rd or 4th week to manage the condition and to strengthen the glutes and ankle. Although there is no cure for most types of arthritis, Myotherapy can help people with arthritis take control and live well with the condition.