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Foot and Ankle Pain

Why are feet and ankle problems so common?

Once upright, our feet bear the brunt of everything we do in our daily lives. They absorb the shock impact of all the steps, stumbles and heavy loads that we ask of them. And, of course, we have a tendency to not wear the most appropriate foot wear, like flip flops, crocs, high heels, or other footwear with virtually no support where we need it and eventually this wears our feet down, thus, causing pain.

In fact, the lower part of our body is such a complex interplay of bones, tendons and joints that it shouldn’t be a surprise when some sort of problem eventually shows up. You probably won’t be able to “outrun” some level of ankle or foot pain in your lifetime, whether you are a sports junkie, weekend warrior or a couch potato. Ironically, both a very active lifestyle and an extremely sedentary one can lead to foot and ankle problems.  Age is also a factor.

 

What types of conditions can be helped with physical therapy?

With the two leg bones (i.e. tibia and fibula) coming together at the ankle and arching over the keystone structure of the foot (i.e. talus bone), problems in your feet can influence ankle pain, and vice versa.  Additionally, it can cause stress on your knees and/or throw your hips and spine out of alignment. The body is a kinetic chain that works together and if one link of the chain is weak, it can throw the whole chain off balance. For that reason, physical therapy addresses a number of problems relating to the foot and ankle. These conditions include:

  • Plantar Fascitis and Lack of Balance and Mobility Issues
  • Sprained Ankles
  • Achilles and Posterior Tibialis Tendonitis
  • Repetitive Overuse Injures (jumping/running)
  • Collapsed, Fallen or Flat Arches
  • Lack of Mobility and Balance Issues
  • Arthritis
  • Crush Injuries
  • Post-Surgical Rehabilitation
  • Non-Specific Foot Pain

 

What happens in Physical Therapy? 

Our dedicated team of physical therapists are trained to evaluate and find the main problem of your condition, based on existing medical information, history and cause. They will look at how you walk, and move, and will test your range of motion, strength and flexibility to get the full picture.

Since many foot and ankle issues stem from overuse or trauma causing inflammation, much of physical therapy will likely focus on simple movements that encourage flexibility and range of motion as well as modalities to help reduce pain and swelling in the early phases of therapy. As pain is reduced, specific strengthening exercises are incorporated with balance and coordination movements to improve your functions, gait and life.

Let’s take that “first step” toward making the rest of those steps pain-free. Call us today for an evaluation, so that you can begin your journey to healthy, strong feet and ankles.

 

Sources 

http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00209

http://www.healthline.com/symptom/ankle-pain